UPDATE : 2019.12.13 FRI 09:50
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Moon sees Korean economic fundamentals as strong, urges vigilance against fake news

President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday the fundamentals of the Korean economy remain strong despite heightened economic uncertainty and called for vigilance against potential negative impacts by fake news on financial markets.

The president ordered government officials to sternly tackle growing economic woes at home and abroad but also called attention to the possibility that groundless fake information could increase financial market instability.

President Moon Jae-in (C) presides over a Cabinet meeting at his office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Aug. 13, 2019.

"The government should tackle the grave economic situation with enhanced determination, but it should be wary of the possibility that groundless fake news, fabricated information and exaggerated outlooks could raise market uneasiness," Moon said during a Cabinet meeting.

"(Economic outlooks based on fake news) are wrong assessments and do harm to the economy," he added.

Moon cited major economic headwinds that range from a trade war between the United States and China to Tokyo's export restrictions against South Korea.

The Korean stock market suffered heavy sell-offs last week, with its key stock index dipping to a three-year low amid an intensifying trade spat between Washington and Beijing.

Despite downside economic risks, Moon stressed that the fundamentals of the Korean economy remain strong, citing global credit appraisers' assessment of Asia's fourth-largest economy.

"The growth momentum has slowed due to heightened economic uncertainty. But the growth path of the Korean economy remains solid, given the strong financial soundness, prompting credit ratings agencies to provide a positive evaluation of the Korean economy," he added.

In July, global rating agency Moody's Investors Service maintained its rating on South Korea at "Aa2" with a stable rating outlook. Last week, Fitch Ratings reaffirmed its credit rating on the South at "AA-" with a stable rating prospect.

"What I would like to stress is that time is not waiting for us," Moon said, calling for the Korean economy to speed up its competitive edge in global markets.

The president also raised the need to explore all available resources to tackle Japan's trade restrictions and implement policy to boost the vitality of the local economy as well. (Yonhap)

Park Byung-uk  edt@koreapost.com

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