DPRK Briefing Book: South Korea and pre-1945 united
Also known as the Republic of Korea. Independent in a split of Korea on 15 August 1948
Korea has long been the center of struggles for power between China and Japan. The Choson dynasty (also called the Lee or Yi dynasty) ruled from 1392 until the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. For much of that time it paid tribute to China. In 1592 the Japanese military leader who had just reunified Japan tried to conquer Korea. Japanese forces were successful on land but the Koreans controlled the seas. China dispatched troops to aid Korea. The Japanese withdrew in 1592, but invaded again in 1597 and withdrew in 1599 after the death of the Japanese monarch in 1598. In 1627 the Manchu overran northern Korea, withdrawing after Korea granted certain concessions. In 1636 the Manchu captured Seoul. In 1644 they established the Ch’ing dynasty in China, and Korea paid tribute to them. Like China and Japan, Korea for a long period purposely isolated itself from contact with the outside. In 1876 Japan forced Korea open to trade with a squadron of warships. China, worried about Japanese intentions, stationed troops in Korea and obtained a treaty opening Korea to Chinese commerce. As a counterweight, Korea also signed treaties of commerce with several Western powers. A modernization movement began. In 1884, modernizing radicals seized power, but were overthrown by Chinese troops after three days. This led in 1885 to the signing of the Li-Ito Convention, designed to guarantee a Sino-Japanese balance of power on the Korean peninsula. Slavery was not abolished until 1894, though it had been in decline.
On the heels of a rebellion in Korea in 1894, Japan and China went to war over which country would have Korea in its sphere of influence. Japan defeated China, and under the Treaty of Shimonoseki in April 1895, China recognized Japanese hegemony in Korea. In October 1895 Japan engineered the assassination of Korea’s queen. During the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) Korea at first declared neutrality, but under Japanese pressure allowed Japan to use its territory for military operations against Russia. Japan defeated Russia, and by the Treaty of Portsmouth (September 1905), Russia recognized Japanese hegemony in Korea. In November 1905, Japan forced the Korean emperor to sign a treaty making Korea a Japanese protectorate. On 29 August 1910 Japan annexed Korea. On 1 March 1919, nationwide anti-Japanese rallies were held. Japan forcibly repressed protest. Resentment against Japanese rule smoldered and occasionally thereafter broke out in new protests. In 1931 Japan used Korea as its base to invade Manchuria. After the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 and of the Second World War in the Pacific in December 1941, Japan attempted to obliterate Korea as a nation. Koreans were forced to worship at Japanese Shinto shrines and even to adopt Japanese-style names, and academic societies devoted to Korean studies as well as newspapers and magazines published in Korean were banned. Koreans were drafted to work as Japanese soldiers and laborers.
After Japan ended the Second World War by surrendering on 2 September 1945, Korea was divided into two zones of occupation. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), which had entered the war against Japan on 8 August 1945, only a week before the war ended, was given the administration of the country north of the 45th Parallel; the United States was given the administration of the southern part of the country. The United States did not want a unified communist Korea and the USSR did not want a united capitalist Korea. On 3 September 1948, the northern zone became the communist Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under the dictatorship of Kim Il Sung. North Korean troops invaded South Korea on 25 June 1950, beginning the Korean War. United Nations troops, consisting chiefly of U.S. soldiers, came to the aid of South Korea. Chinese soldiers reinforced the North Korean army, which was also supplied with equipment by the USSR. After bloody fighting that claimed more than 2.5 million lives and left the division of the country approximately as it had been before the war, an armistice was signed on 27 July 1953. After the war South Korea rebuilt with U.S. aid. A military coup occurred in May 1961. In the mid 1960s South Korea began an economic takeoff that made it one of the great economic success stories of the late 1900s. Korea’s economic policy involved extensive government support for large industrial combines (chaebol). Competitive, democratic elections were first held again in December 1987, and over the next several years the country cast off the vestiges of military rule. In 1997 South Korea was hit hard by the East Asian financial crisis, but it rebounded quickly.
Wars since 1500
These apply also to North Korea: Mongol Invasions of Korea, 1231-1241; Japanese Conquest of Korea, 1592-1599; Manchu Conquest of Korea, 1627; Manchu Invasion of Korea, 1636; Korean Rebellions of 1811-1812; Korean Peasant Rebellions of 1862; French Incursion into Korea, 1866; U.S. Capture of Kanghwa Island, 1871; Tonghak Uprising, 1894; Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 (Japan conquered Korea); Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905 (fought by Russia and Japan in and around Korea); Samil Independence Movement, 1919-1920 (against Japan); Second World War in the Pacific, 1941-1945 (Japan against United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, China, and allies, including the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics just before the war ended); Korean Occupation Rebellion, 1946 (against United States); Ysu Rebellion, 1948 (against United States); Korean War, 1950-1953 (North Korea and China, supported by Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, against South Korea, United States, and allies); Kwanju Massacre, 1980 (of protestors against the military regime).
During the Second World War, French Indochina (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam) and Thailand, though occupied by Japanese troops, did not have Japanese occupation currency; rather, they paid a kind of ransom by creating domestic currency and giving it to Japan to pay for local expenses. In Burma, Hong Kong, western Indonesia (Sumatra and Java), and the Philippines, the Yokohama Specie Bank acted as the issuing agent of occupation currency and the de facto central bank. The Bank of Taiwan had the same capacity in Oceania and eastern Indonesia. The Bank of Japan was made the central bank for the Greater South East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere by a Japanese law of July 1942, but Japanese occupation currencies were not officially all pegged to one another and to the yen until 1943, when the rate was established at 1 Japanese yen = 1 military yen (China) = 1 Burmese rupee = 1 Javanese gulden = Malayan $1 = 1 Philippine peso = 1 Thai baht = 2 Japanese Oceanic shillings, and 1 Indochinese piastre = 0.976 Japanese yen (Bányai 1974: 8). On 1 April 1942, Japan opened the Southern Development Bank (Nampo Kaihatsu Kinko), which had its headquarters in Tokyo and, from 1 July 1942, a primary regional office in Singapore (renamed Shonan by the Japanese). The Southern Development Bank became the official central bank of the Japanese occupation at various dates in 1943 and 1944 for Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore, but this was mainly an administrative change. Notes continued to be printed with the same appearance and the Yokohama Specie Bank and Bank of Taiwan continued as the agents for issuing occupation currency and regulating other banks. Although these currencies were part of a currency zone based on the Japanese yen, convertibility between any pair of currencies was restricted. Taiwan, Korea, and Manchuria were also parts of the Japanese yen currency zone through their older pegs to the yen.
South Korea established exchange controls on 15 August 1948,when it became independent. It removed most restrictions 1 January 2001.
Defaults on or restructurings of debt to the foreign private sector: None.
Banking crises: A premodern financial crisis in 1872 as a result of government-created inflation (no banks existed at the time); problems in mid 1980s, as nonperforming loans reached 7% of total by 1986; banks accounting for almost 20% of assets nationalized or closed 1997-past 1999 (related to East Asian currency crisis).
Frankel and Rose (1996) list of currency crashes: None; but East Asian currency crisis, 1997-1998.
No data for united Korea or North Korea in Reinhart and Rogoff (2002).
Primary sources: See the publications of the monetary authorities, and the laws listed in the “Legal basis” column.
Main secondary sources: Bank of Korea (1994, 2000), Cole and Park (1983), Daiichi Gink (1909), Palais (1974).
Monetary authorities: united Korea (to 14 August 1945)
-1368? government issue Chinese Yüan dynasty (headquarters Dadu [also called Khanbalik–now Peking], China) During the period of the Mongol conquest of China and Korea, paper money of the Yüan dynasty circulated. The first coins were issued in 996. 1368?
-1390 used cloth and grain as money government of Korea (headquarters Gaesong [or Kaesong], [now North] Korea) Apparently notes ceased to circulate when the Yüan dynasty came to an end in China. 1390
-1392 government issue government of Korea (headquarters Gaesong [or Kaesong], [now North] Korea) The Kory dynasty issued notes toward the end of its existence. 1392
-April 1401 coins only government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) The Kory dynasty fell from power and issuance of paper money ceased. April 1401
-1403 government issue government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) Notes were in limited use. 1403
-1410 used cloth and grain as money government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) There was a fall in the value of paper money and of cloth (which was widely used as money), and people lost faith in them. 1410
-1537 government issue government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) Notes were in limited use. There may have been episodes during this period when notes ceased to be used, such as starting in 1425; however, the record seems unclear. 1537
-1620 used cloth and grain as money government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) Palais (1975: 161) says paper money probably went out of circulation sometime around 1537, when a law provided for payment of cloth instead of paper money for military taxes. The monetary history of this period seems sketchy, and there may have been periods when coins rather than cloth and grain were widely used. 1620
-19 May 1902 coins only (see Remarks concerning free banking around 1900) government of Korea (headquarters Seoul, [now South] Korea) Korea, military cloth receipt law (kunjok sup’obp), 1537 Palais (1975: 161) says paper money probably went out of circulation sometime around 1537, when a law provided for payment of cloth instead of paper money for military taxes. In 1867 the government briefly issued high-value token coins. First modern bank Dai-Ichi Ginko (Daiichi Gink) (headquarters Tokyo, Japan), in Pusan, 1878. The bank issued custom house notes in treaty ports for the Korean government starting 1884. Second modern bank Dai Juhachi Ginko (meaning Eighteenth Bank, headquarters Nagasaki, Japan), in Pusan, sometime in this period. Around 1900 there were also some private issues of paper money, but these do not seem to have been extensive enough to qualify as an episode of free banking. 20 May 1902
-9 November 1909 private monopoly issue Dai-Ichi Ginko (Daiichi Gink) (headquarters Tokyo, Japan) Japan, Ministry of Finance, granted approval sometime in 1901 or early 1902 for note issue The Japanese bank Dai-Ichi Ginko was given a monopoly during a period of increasing Japanese influence in Korea. In January 1905 its notes were recognized as legal tender (related legislation was Japan, Ordinance No. 73, March 1905). 10 November 1909
-14 August 1945 central bank (with commercial banking functions) Han’guk Unhaeng? (Bank of Korea) / Han’guk Chosun or Chosen Ginko (Bank of Chosun, or Chosen, or Korea, or Khankuku) from 1 August 1911 (headquarters for both Seoul, Korea) Emperor of Korea and Japanese Resident General, Agreement on the Establishment of a Korean Central Bank, July 1909; Japan, Bank of Chosun [or Chosen or Korea] Act, 1 August 1911 Korea received its own central bank, which took over the government business of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank. The statute of bank was revised later as Japanese control of the country became complete. Chosun was the name for what foreigners now call Korea; it was the name of the country during the Lee (Yi) dynasty (1392-1910).
Monetary authorities: South Korea
-11 June 1950 central bank (with commercial banking functions) (as part of currency union to 5 December 1947) Han’guk Chosun (Bank of Chosun, or Chosen, or Korea) (headquarters Seoul, Korea) Japan, Bank of Chosun [or Chosen] Act, 1 August 1911 The Bank of Chosun continued to operate after Japan’s surrender and withdrawal from Korea following the Second World War. On 6 December 1947, North Korea established a central bank and national currency separate from those of South Korea. 12 June 1950
-present central bank Han’guk Unhaeng (Bank of Korea) (headquarters Seoul, South Korea) Republic of Korea, Bank of Korea Act, No. 138m 5 May 1950 The commercial banking functions of the Bank of Chosun were spun off and merged with the Mutual Aid Bank into the Bank of Commerce and Industry (headquarters Seoul, South Korea). South Korea joined the IMF on 26 August 1955.
Exchange rate arrangements: united Korea (to 14 August 1945)
Special remark: I have relied mainly on Palais (1974) for an account of Korea’s exchange rate history before 1900. Some parts of that history remain murky. I welcome comments from knowledgeable readers.
-early 1000s iron “cash” coins The government minted iron “cash” coins and prohibited use of hemp cloth as a medium of exchange. The prohibition proved unworkable and Koreans were allowed to continue using cloth and grain as media of exchange in market transactions. early 1000s
-1097 used cloth and grain Coins seem to have fallen into disuse. 1097
-early 1100s silver “jar money” (unbyng) The government revived metallic currency, and issued copper cash coins minted in 1102. early 1100s
-1279? used cloth and grain Korea reverted to cloth and grain as the main media of exchange. 1279?
-1368? clean? float A period of paper money issued by Yüan dynasty after the Mongol conquest of Korea. 1368?
-1390 used cloth and grain Apparently notes ceased to circulate when the Yüan dynasty came to an end in China. 1390
-1392 clean? float The Kory dynasty issued government notes toward the end of its existence. 1392
-April 1401 used cloth and grain The Kory dynasty fell from power and issuance of paper money ceased. April 1401
-1403 clean? float Government notes were in limited use. 1403
-1410 used cloth and grain There was a fall in the value of paper money and of cloth (which was widely used as money), and people lost faith in them. 1410
-1537 clean? float Notes were in limited use. There may have been episodes during this period when notes ceased to be used, such as starting in 1425; however, the record seems unclear. 1537
-1620 used cloth and grain Palais (1975: 161) says paper money probably went out of circulation sometime around 1537, when a law provided for payment of cloth instead of paper money for military taxes. The monetary history of this period seems sketchy, and there may have been periods when coins rather than cloth and grain were widely used. 1620
-1627 used copper cash and silver The government established a rigid exchange rate of copper in terms of silver at the start of this period. in 1620. Copper cash was minted starting in 1625 and then, with interruptions, frequently afterwards. 1627
-1633? used cloth and grain The first Manchu invasion of Korea resulted in a suspension of the use of metallic currency. 1633
-1636 copper cash and silver In 1633, the government for the first time issued a copper coin with the inscription “ever-normal circulating treasure.” 1636
-by 1640s used cloth and grain The second Manchu invasion resulted in a suspension of the use of metallic currency. by 1640s
-1656 copper cash and silver Resumed use of coins. 1656
-1660s used cloth and grain Korea, royal order of 1656 The king issued an order prohibiting the use of copper cash. Landowning aristocrats viewed coins and wealth gained in merchant activities as a threat to their social status. 1660s
-1678 copper cash and silver Minting by the government resumed. Private parties also minted coins. 1678
-1678 or 1679 hard peg; 400 copper mun = 1 silver yang The government set a ratio between copper cash and silver. The official rate overvalued copper mun (cash) coins. 1678 or 1679
-1680 hard peg; 200 copper mun = 1 silver yang The government revalued copper cash. The market rate, however, was 800 copper mun = 1 silver yang. 1680
-14 January 1867 used copper cash and silver The government abandoned attempts to set exchange rate for cash in terms of silver. In the 1700s, copper cash became the main medium of exchange, and silver was held mainly as a reserve currency. From the early 1700s to the early 1800s, the weight of copper coins was reduced by about 50%. In 1731, the government minted a large issue of cash coins and Korea in effect adopted monetary exchange irrevocably, despite the misgivings of some rulers and other influential people. In 1751, the minting of coins changed from an irregular to an annual activity. In 1825, 1829, and 1830 the metallic value of cash coins was 92%, 73%, and 73%, respectively, of its legal tender value. Private mints, which existed with royal permission, were forbidden in 1864. The historical information on this period in Palais (1974) is limited. 15 January 1867
-1869 clean? float Korea, declaration of state council, 7 January 1867 Circulation of 100-cash coins began 15 January 1867 and the coins were minted until 16 June 1867. The metallic value of these coins was only 5-7% of their legal tender value, a rare instance of a high-value token coin. An inflation of 400-500% resulted. The 100-cash coin was withdrawn from circulation in 1869, as a result of a royal edict apparently of the 10thlunar month of 1868. 1869
-21 January 1874 used Chinese and local copper cash, and silver After the episode of the 100-cash coins, Chinese cash, having a metallic value of half of Korean cash, was imported and passed as equal to Korean cash. The Korean government imported some of the Chinese cash coins. The result was an inflation in the 1870s. 22 January 1874
-20 May 1905 used local copper cash and silver A royal edict of 22 January 1874 ordered Koreans to cease using Chinese cash as a way of combating inflation. Because Chinese cash was a large percentage of currency in circulation and of government treasury reserves, the edict created a recession. The first modern decimal coins were issued in 1882. 1 June 1905
-15 September 1917 hard peg; 1 Korean won = 0.75g gold = 1 Japanese yen Korea, imperial edict of 1905 Korea adopted a gold standard on the recommendation of the Japanese financial advisor. Japan was on the gold standard. The Korean word “won” is based on the same Chinese character as the word for (Japanese) yen, meaning “circle.” 16 September 1917
-14 August 1945 hard peg; 1 Korean won = 1 Japanese yen Japan abandoned the gold standard during the First World War; Korea, as its colony, followed. From my sources, it is unclear whether Korea re-established a direct link between the Korean won and gold when Japan later returned to the gold standard, or whether Korea was henceforth on a pure Japanese yen exchange standard.
Exchange rate arrangements: South Korea Dates Arrangement Legal basis Remarks 15 August 1945
-October 1945 hard peg (as part of currency union); 1 Korean won = 1 Japanese yen South Korea remained under Japanese control for a short period after Japan surrendered to end the Second World War. October 1945
-14 July 1947 hard peg (as part of currency union); 15 South Korean won = US$1 Switched to the US dollar as the anchor currency at the prevailing official cross rate.
RR: De facto band of +/-5% around US dollar. Parallel market premium reached 2,400% in 1947. 15 July 1947
-30 September 1948 hard peg (as part of currency union to 5 December 1947); 50 South Korean won = US$1 Devalued. On 6 December 1947, North Korea established a central bank and national currency separate from those of South Korea.
RR: De facto band of +/-5% around US dollar. 1 October 1948
-13 June 1949 hard peg; 450 South Korean won = US$1 A large devaluation.
RR: Freely falling / de facto band of +/-5% around US dollar / parallel market from December 1948. 14 June 1949
-30 April 1950 hard peg, dual rate; 450 South Korean won = US$1 Established a second rate of 900 South Korean won = US$1 for nongovernment transactions.
RR: Freely falling / de facto band of +/-5% around US dollar / parallel market. 1 May 1950
-31 October 1950 hard peg; 1,800 South Korean won = US$1 Devalued and reunified exchange rate.
RR: Freely falling / de facto band of +/-5% around US dollar / parallel market 1 November 1950
-31 March 1951 hard peg; 2,500 South Korean won = US$1 First devaluation of Korean War.
RR: Freely falling / de facto band of +/-5% around US dollar / parallel market 1 April 1951
-14 February 1953 hard peg; 6,000 South Korean won = US$1 Another wartime devaluation.
RR: Freely falling / de facto band of +/-5% around US dollar / parallel market 15 February 1953
-14 December 1953 hard peg; 60 South Korean hwan =US$1 Established a new currency at 1 South Korean hwan = 100 South Korean won.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar / parallel market. 15 December 1953
-October 1954 hard peg; 180 South Korean hwan = US$1 Devalued again half a year after the end of the Korean War.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. October 1954
-14 August 1955 hard peg, dual rate; official rate 180 South Korean hwan = US$1 Established a dual exchange rate. IMF data start here.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar to December 1954. From January 1955, freely falling / de facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium around 350%. 15 August 1955
-30 April 1957 hard peg, multiple rates; official rate 500 South Korean hwan = US$1 Devalued and introduced multiple rates. However, the official rate applied to all transactions other than certain US aid items. South Korea never registered a gold parity with the IMF.
RR: Freely falling / de facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar to December 1955. From January 1956, de facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium above 100%. 1 May 1957
-27 August 1958 hard peg; 500 South Korean hwan = US$1 Replaced multiple exchange rates with a sale of government bonds. 28 August 1958
-22 February 1960 hard peg, multiple rates; official rate 500 South Korean hwan = US$1 Replaced the bond auction with an exchange tax of 150 South Korean hwan per US dollar plus other, varying taxes reflecting the auction rate of the US dollar. 23 February 1960
-31 December 1960 hard peg, multiple rates; official rate 650 South Korean hwan = US$1 Republic of Korea, Monetary Board, decision of 22 February 1960 Devalued.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium ranged from 20-120% through 1965. 1 January 1961
-1 February 1961 hard peg; 1,000 South Korean hwan = US$1 Republic of Korea, Monetary Board, decision of December 1960 Devalued and unified the exchange rate.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium ranged from 20-120% through 1965. 2 February 1961
-9 June 1962 soft peg, dual rate; base rate 1,250 South Korean hwan = US$1 To the base rate there was added a varying premium, initially 20 South Korean hwan per US dollar.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium ranged from 20-120% through 1965. 10 June 1962
-2 May 1964 soft peg, dual rate; base rate 125 South Korean won = US$1 Republic of Korea, emergency currency measures, 9 June 1962 Introduced a new currency at 1 South Korean won = 10 South Korean hwan. There was no currency confiscation, but there was a temporary freeze of deposits.
RR: De facto crawling band of +/-2% around US dollar. Parallel market premium ranged from 20-120% through 1965. 3 May 1964
-18 December 1964 hard peg; 255 South Korean won = US$1 Simplified the exchange rate. The parallel rate was in practice inoperative.
RR: Crawling band of +/-5% to US dollar. Parallel market premiums mostly in single digits. 19 December 1964
-21 March 1965 soft peg, multiple rates; floor 255 South Korean won = US$1 Introduced export subsidies of 3-25 South Korean won per US dollar.
RR: Crawling band of +/-5% to US dollar. Parallel market premiums mostly in single digits. 22 March 1965
-2 August 1972 managed float, dual rate; floor 255 South Korean won = US$1 Abolished export subsidies and replaced them with foreign exchange certificates. This period included an abrupt depreciation in the exchange rate on 26 June 1971, from 328.25 South Korean won = US$1 to 370.80 South Korean won = US$1. Gold convertibility for all countries ended in practice when the United States abandoned the gold standard on 15 August 1971.
RR: Crawling band of +/-5% to US dollar. Parallel market premiums mostly in single digits. 3 August 1972
-6 December 1974 hard peg; 400 South Korean won = US$1 Republic of Korea, President, Emergency Decree for Economic Stability and Growth 3 August 1972 Devalued.
RR: To April 1974, crawling band of +/-5% to US dollar. Parallel market premiums mostly in single digits. From May 1974, pegged to US dollar. 7 December 1974
-11 January 1980 hard peg; floor 480 South Korean won = US$1 The market rate changed from 399 South Korean won = US$1 to 484 South Korean won = US$1. 12 January 1980
-26 February 1980 hard peg; 580 South Korean won = US$1 Devalued the “base rate” (also called the standard concentration rate) from its previous value of 484 South Korean won = US$1.
RR: Parallel market premium rose to 28% in February 1980. 27 February 1980
-1 March 1990 basket (loose) Switched to a basket as part of the policy mix determining the exchange rate. On 1 September 1989, banks were allowed to set their bid and ask rates for US dollar within +/-0.4% of the Bank of Korea’s rate, whereas before they had been required to set their rates at the edges of the +/-0.4% spread, thus permitting no real competition (Republic of Korea, government announcement of 1 September 1989).
RR: De facto crawling peg to US dollar (apparently; there is either a typographical error or a gap in coverage here after July 1980). 2 March 1990
-15 December 1997 crawling peg to US dollar (IMF: managed float) Republic of Korea, government announcement of 1 September 1989 Introduced a “market average exchange system” allowing fluctuations of up to +/-0.4% versus the previous day’s weighted average exchange rate with the US dollar. Widened the daily permissible fluctuation to +/-0.6% 2 September 1991, +/-0.8% 1 July 1992, +/-1% 1 October 1993, +/-1.5% 1 November 1994, +/-2.25% 1 December 1995, and +/-10% 20 November 1997 (during the East Asian currency crisis).
RR: Crawling band around US dollar to 30 October 1994. De facto drawling peg to US dollar from 1 November 1994. 16 December 1997
-present managed float (IMF: independent float) Republic of Korea, Letter of Intent with International Monetary Fund, 24 December 1997 Floated during the East Asian currency crisis after a speculative attack on the currency. Although the agreement with the IMF was not signed until 24 December 1997, the South Korean government had already agreed to elements of it earlier, including a floating exchange rate.
RR: Freely falling to June 1998. Freely floating July 1998-December 2001, when data end.