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South Korea economy not weak enough to need interest rates near zero: finance minister

[Seoul] South Korea's economy is not weak enough to need near-zero interest rates, and is in better condition than during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, the finance minister said on Thursday.

Finance Minister Choi Kyung-hwan's comments were made in response to lawmakers's questions during a parliamentary audit in the ministry's headquarters in Sejong.

Mr Choi declined to answer questions regarding his opinion on the appropriate level of interest rates for South Korea and whether the economy needed additional additional rate cuts.

The comments came just a day after the Bank of Korea slashed its monetary policy rate to 2.0 per cent for a second time in three months. Both moves were widely perceived to have been influenced by the government to align policy.

- REUTERS