The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is not expected to directly affect Taiwan’s economy or trade, but the nation should keep a close eye on whether the South Korean currency will slide as a result of Kim’s passing, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday.
A drastic drop in the value of the South Korean won as a result of Kim’s death would certainly affect Taiwan’s exports and its international competitiveness, Shih said.
However, it is still too early to tell how South Korea will respond to Kim’s passing, especially since the world remains in the dark about North Korea’s succession plans, he said.
Some analysts in Taiwan have predicted that if the won falls as a result of market volatility caused by Kim’s death, Taiwan — a major rival of South Korea in the world markets — will face gigantic pressure in its export trade.
However, other forecasters have said that Taiwan might benefit if orders placed with South Korean companies were shifted to Taiwan because of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.