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Yahoo! ArtsFeb 18, 2020
South Korean President Calls for ‘Extraordinary Steps' to Combat Virus
(Bloomberg) -- President Moon Jae-in said the spreading coronavirus is an emergency for South Korea's economy and called for "extraordinary" steps to minimize its impact."An emergency situation warrants an emergency prescription," Moon told his Cabinet on Tuesday, warning that the virus's impact could be bigger and longer-lasting than a 2015 epidemic that killed 38 people in South Korea and hit growth. Back then, the central bank responded with a rate cut and the government enacted a 11.6 trillion won ($9.8 billion) extra budget.Moon's comments came after Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol and Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki met last week to discuss responses to the crisis amid growing speculation the BOK could cut rates at next week's meeting.Moon offered no specifics on measures he's considering to protect the economy, only saying that "every kind of step that can be taken by the government" needs to be taken.So far, there have been no deaths in South Korea from the virus, but at least 30 people have been infected and the fallout is threatening to derail the economy's recovery by slamming supply chains and cutting shipments to China, the country's biggest export market.Finance Minister Hong said last week that the government was considering a package of measures to boost exports and domestic consumption in response to the outbreak.Should South Korea decide to draw up an extra budget, it could set aside as much as 15 trillion won, roughly 0.7% of its gross domestic output, Moon Hong-ch
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