South Korean bank worries about geopolitical risks

Seoul, April 11 (IANS) Bank of Korea (BOK), South Korea’s central bank, Thursday expressed its concerns over growing geopolitical risks on the Korean Peninsula.

“Stock prices have fallen substantially and the Korean won has depreciated significantly against the US dollar as foreign funds have flowed out in line with the re-emergence of euro and with the increase in geopolitical risk in Korea,” the BOK said in a statement unveiled right after the April rate-setting meeting.

The central bank froze its benchmark interest rate at 2.75 percent, keeping its wait-and-see stance for six straight months.

The BOK said that it will closely monitor external risk factors and geopolitical risks as well as any consequent changes in financial and economic conditions.

Tensions have been running high on the Korean Peninsula after North Korea conducted its third nuclear test Feb 12 in a protest against the joint military drills between South Korea and the US.

South Korean foreign Minister said Wednesday that North Korea is highly likely to launch mid-range missiles “at any time from now on”.

On April 4, Defence Minister Kim Kwan-jin told lawmakers that North Korea moved intermediate-range missiles to its east coast.

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