UPDATE 1-South Korea can grow 3 pct this year and in 2018 - IMF's Lagarde

* IMF chief raises forecasts made in April

S.Korea seen 'highly resilient' to geopolitical risks (Adds comments, details)

By Cynthia Kim

SEOUL, Sept 11 (Reuters) - International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has upgraded its forecasts for South Korea, saying on Monday she sees the economy growing 3 percent this year and "probably" again in 2018.

Her forecasts are in line with the government's, and higher than what the IMF projected in April for South Korea. It then forecast 2.7 percent expansion this year and 2.8 percent for 2018.

In 2016, South Korea's economy expanded 2.8 percent.

Lagarde gave the forecasts during a news conference in Seoul after meeting with President Moon Jae-in and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon.

She said that Asia's fourth-largest economy looks "highly resilient" to geopolitical risks stemming from nuclear and missile provocations from North Korea.

Responding to a question on the expected spillover effects of North Korean risks, Lagarde said any discussions about conflicts, let alone a war, hurt economic development in general.

North Korea on Monday warned that the United States would pay a "due price" for spearheading a U.N. Security Council resolution against its latest nuclear test conducted, as Washington presses for a vote on a draft resolution imposing more sanctions on Pyongyang.

Policymakers in South Korea are concerned that tensions related to North Korea could show signs of spreading to the real economy. They vowed to make stern responses to stabilize the financial markets after Pyongyang tested its sixth and most powerful nuclear test this month.

In her meeting with Moon, Lagarde stressed the importance of policies to focus on preventing the dominance of conglomerates in the economy and supporting more women to join the workforce, the presidential office said in a statement.

These are key strategies in tackling South Korea's aging population and declining productivity, it said. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Writing by Christine Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)