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SEOUL, Feb 23 (Reuters) - South Korea's central bank kept interest rates unchanged for an eighth straight month on Thursday, opting for stability as it monitors uncertainties ranging from an unpredictable North Korea to global policy challenges and a political scandal at home.
Following are key remarks from Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol's news conference, translated by Reuters:
"Today's decision to leave the policy rate unchanged was unanimous."
ECONOMY: "(The BOK) will maintain an accommodative stance in monetary policy and also pay attention to financial stability." "It is true that there are big concerns over household debt." "We believe household debt growth will be curbed a bit compared to its recent increases." "Growth momentum is weak - especially consumption."
"Chances of FX swap rates falling further from current level aren't that big."
"Exports will be better than what we projected earlier (this year)."
"Still, export conditions aren't all that favourable as protectionist moves are slowly spreading in countries other than the United States."
"Given that the economy is expanding by mid-2 percent and inflation is seen at around 2 percent (this year), the chances of the economy falling into stagflation aren't big."
Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Christine Kim