Finland and Sweden formally apply to join NATO alliance    Egypt's foreign inflows grow 30% since pound correction move in March – c.bank governor    Shell acquires Block 3 in North East El-Amriya, Egypt    Twitter board eagers to close Musk's deal, despite spam pots percentage    Saudi Arabia prolongs Yemen central bank's deposit    Egypt Knauf launches its first training centre in Egypt    Egypt-first to have new climate targets ahead of UN summit    Egypt uncovers official logo for COP27    Noura Al-Mutair – first Gulf female boxer in World Championships    Egypt unveils 50 pound coin minted to mark Avenue of Sphinxes grand reopening    Liverpool fans: "You'll Never Walk Alone" to Cristiano Ronaldo    Hot, rainy weather hits Egypt this week    COVID-19 in Egypt: infections fall to 124 cases last week    Realme announces Global Photography Contest 2022    Egypt to play key role in integrating water, climate issues globally – World Bank official    Egypt's telecoms regulator announces working hours for holy month of Ramadan    Maha karara joins AAIB as Head of Corporate Communications, Sustainability    Egypt works on charting cooperation strategies with international institutions for 5 years: Al-Mashat    Over 2.4 million newborns examined for hearing impairment: Health Ministry    Netflix releases trailer of Arab adaption of 'Perfect Strangers' film    Balqees to headline concert celebrating launch of streaming giant LIVENow in MENA    Sawsan Badr to be honoured at Aswan Women Film Festival    MP Abdel Hady Al-Qasby calls government to facilitate and support NGOs    Al-Sisi follows up on 'Great Transfiguration Project' in St. Catherine    Cairo, London stress need to strengthen cooperation to face climate change    Foreigners account for 22.6% of Egypt's T-bills issuances in 1H 2021: CBE    Egypt's ambassador to Italy passes away    Egypt confirms readiness to help African countries face terrorism and extremism    An estimated 235 million people needed humanitarian assistance and protection in 2021, an increase of 40% compared to 2020: IOM Egypt    Egypt, DRC discuss water cooperation during WYF    Egypt, DR Congo discuss boosting bilateral cooperation during WYF    Cameroonian police probe assault on three Algerian journalists covering AFCON    Pharaohs start AFCON 2021 campaign with fierce clash against Nigeria    Foreign Ministry opens capacity building course for French-speaking African diplomats    Egypt's trade with Nile basin countries climbs 26% y-o-y in 9 months    Ethiopia halts work at its embassy in Egypt for 'economic reasons'    Russia says it's in sync with US, China, Pakistan on Taliban    It's a bit frustrating to draw at home: Real Madrid keeper after Villarreal game    Shoukry reviews with Guterres Egypt's efforts to achieve SDGs, promote human rights    Sudan says countries must cooperate on vaccines    Johnson & Johnson: Second shot boosts antibodies and protection against COVID-19    Egypt to tax bloggers, YouTubers    Egypt's FM asserts importance of stability in Libya, holding elections as scheduled    We mustn't lose touch: Muller after Bayern win in Bundesliga    Egypt records 36 new deaths from Covid-19, highest since mid June    Egypt sells $3 bln US-dollar dominated eurobonds    Gamal Hanafy's ceramic exhibition at Gezira Arts Centre is a must go    Italian Institute Director Davide Scalmani presents activities of the Cairo Institute for ITALIANA.IT platform    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.



North Korea moves missiles, South Korean markets roiled
Published in Almasry Alyoum on 05 - 04 - 2013

North Korea has placed two of its intermediate range missiles on mobile launchers and hidden them on the east coast of the country in a move that could threaten Japan or US Pacific bases, South Korean media reported on Friday.
The report could not be confirmed. But any such movement may be intended to demonstrate that the North, angry about joint US-South Korean military exercises and the imposition of UN sanctions, is prepared to demonstrate its ability to mount an attack.
The North has said nuclear conflict could break out at any time on the Korean peninsula in a month-long war of words that has prompted the United States to move military assets into the region.
The tension with North Korea has roiled South Korean financial markets and top finance officials in Seoul warned they could have a long-term impact on markets.
In North Korea itself, there was no intensification of the strident rhetoric about impending war as the country marked a national holiday. And some analysts said the tone of recent statements, however bitter, was most probably aimed at securing concessions and was unlikely to lead to armed conflict.
South Korea's Yonhap news agency, quoting a senior military official familiar with the matter said: "Early this week, the North moved two Musudan missiles on the train and placed them on mobile launchers."
There were unconfirmed media reports on Thursday that the North had moved missiles to the east coast, although it was not clear what kind of missiles had been deployed.
South Korea's Defense Ministry declined to comment.
Speculation centered on two kinds of missiles neither of which is known to have been tested.
One was the so-called Musudan missile which South Korea's Defense Ministry estimates has a range of up to 3,000 km; the other is called the KN-08, which is believed to be an inter-continental ballistic missile, which is again untested.
Market jitters
In Seoul, officials from economic ministries, the central bank and regulatory agencies held emergency talks and promised swift and strong action should the markets lose stability. News of the talks and the central bank involvement boosted investors' expectations of an interest rate cut next week.
South Korean shares slid, with foreign investors selling their biggest daily amount in nearly 20 months, hurt after aggressive easing from the Bank of Japan sent the yen reeling, as well as by the tension over North Korea.
"In the past, [markets] recovered quickly from the impact from any North Korea-related event, but recent threats from North Korea are stronger and the impact may therefore not disappear quickly," Vice Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho told a meeting.
North Korea threatened to strike US military bases, including those on the American mainland, and to shut down a joint industrial complex with the South while denying entry to the complex by South Korean workers this week.
The South's new unification minister said the government was willing to pull out workers from the Kaesong industrial complex if it became dangerous, though he said the situation was not that serious for the moment.
The threats from North Korea's 30-year-old leader Kim Jong-un, though not unusual from the reclusive state, have followed the imposition of new UN sanctions in response to North Korea's third nuclear test in February. Reaction to the threats in markets has until now been muted.
The increasingly tense standoff with North Korea could not happen at a worse time for the government of the South's new president, Park Geun-hye, whose first steps in office included a sharp cut in growth forecasts.
Park, in office for just over a month, has ordered her cabinet to draw up what is likely to be a large supplementary budget to lower budget revenue projections and add new spending plans aimed at jump-starting faltering domestic demand.
"The market usually doesn't get jittery over North Korea threats. But this time is different, because they look willing to sacrifice Kaesong, which has never happened before," said Park Hyung-joon, macroeconomics team leader at Meritz Securities.
Some US analysts expressed a degree of alarm over the intensification of the threats.
"The rhetoric is off the charts," said Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs at the White House National Security Council and now senior adviser at the Centre for Strategic Studies in Washington.
"We don't understand this new guy at all. And if the North Koreans move to provoke the South, the South is going to retaliate in a way we haven't seen before."
Other analysts said a degeneration into conflict was unlikely.
"We do not believe that North Korea intends to attack South Korea, pre-emptively or otherwise, in the current cycle of threat projection," the US-based Nautilus think-tank said in a study published on Thursday.
"Rather, these statements are opportunistic, and express its authentic strategy which is extortionate. The North's nuclear forces are intended to compel their adversaries to change their policies towards [North Korea], not to deter unprovoked external attack — except when such an attack might actually be in motion."


Clic here to read the story from its source.