(Adds more comments)
SEOUL Feb 23 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
"(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
"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)