SEJONG, Aug. 20 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s short-term foreign debt rose slightly in the second quarter of the year, with its ratio to the total also rising, the finance ministry said Thursday.

The country’s total external debt stood at US$503.1 billion at the end of June, up $17.2 billion from three months earlier, according to the ministry.

The tally for the end of June also marks a rise from $467 billion at the end of last year. it said.

The country’s short-term external debt — with a maturity of one year or less — totaled $154.4 billion as of the end of June, a gain of $5.7 billion from three months ago.

The figure for the end of June accounted for 30.7 percent of the country’s total external debt, an increase from 30.6 percent three months earlier.

The ratio of short-term foreign debt to foreign reserves stood at 37.6 percent at the end of June, rising 0.4 percentage point from the last three months of 2017.

South Korea’s short-term foreign debt is monitored closely as any sharp rise can leave the country vulnerable to external shocks.

The ratio surged sharply during the global financial crisis, hitting 79.3 percent in the third quarter of 2008.