South Korea Faces Global Economic Slowdown, President Park Says

  • Nation's economy seen hampered by external difficulties
  • Warns of more provocations from North Korea with nuclear test

President Park Geun Hye warned Monday that a global slowdown and further provocations from North Korea could undermine signs of economic improvement.

President of South Korea Park Geun-hye.
President of South Korea Park Geun-hye.
Photographer: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Speaking to her aides for the first time since the parliamentary election last week, Park said that South Korea is still facing economic difficulties even though there has been signals that the economy was improving.

In the wake of her ruling party’s defeat in the election, Park said that she would work closely with lawmakers to push through structural reforms and economic revitalization efforts needed to cope with the prospects of a slowdown.

Finance minister Yoo Il Ho said on Monday policy that efforts on reforms need to be made in consistent manner as concerns are already rising that election results may hamper such efforts, including those from Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings.

Park’s assessment comes as Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju Yeol told reporters last month that economic growth for 2016 is likely to fall below the initial 3 percent forecast but that there were positive signs such as a pick up in confidence.

In her talk with her aides Monday, Park also warned that North Korea looked to be preparing for another nuclear test in violation of a United Nation’s ban. South Korean military should firmly maintain a strong readiness for punishment against any North Korean provocation, Park said.

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