The world—and the stock market—reacted to North Korea’s new threat against U.S. should the latter push through with its threats and compel the United States to issue even harsher economic sanctions against them.
The U.S., along with other major powers including Japan, had reacted with both alarm and outrage when the Pyongyang government conducted another test that showed the successful deployment of a hydrogen bomb on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Japan, South Korea, and Guam, which are all U.S. allies, are within striking distance of North Korea. Aggravating the matter was the North Korean government’s own pronouncement that their missiles were capable of reaching U.S. shores.
The rising tension is ominous and, if unchecked, can unleash tremendous consequences not just on the affected countries, but on the entire planet. As RT reports, no less than Russian President Vladimir Putin has described that the situation can escalate into a “global planetary catastrophe” that can take a toll on an uncountable number of lives.
To date, however, both sides seemed to have pulled back a little and given the rest of the watching world that World War III can still be averted. According to the latest report filed by The Guardian, the U.S. has considerably softened on the demands and the sanctions it wants to issue against Pyongyang—the same ones which had triggered another threat from the latter.
These changes include the following: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will no longer have his assets frozen. Instead of calling for a unilateral oil embargo against the country, the U.S. now asks that oil imports should be reduced. Japan supports this U.S. proposal and calls North Korea’s nuclear activities is “the most serious threat since World War II.”
Restrictions on remittance-sending North Koreans working overseas will be lifted, as will investigations on North Korean ships suspected of carrying forbidden cargo. The only sanction that has been retained from the U.S. original wish list is a ban on exports of North Korean textiles.
The administration of President Donald Trump has stepped back in order to win over rivals Russia and China to its cause. Both nations condemned the nuclear testing of North Korea but did not support an oil embargo as well as the other harsh sanctions for fear that economic pressure might destabilize North Korea. Kim Jong-un has also restrained himself by not conducting another nuclear test the past weekend, which foreign analysts had feared. Instead, he threw a huge party for the scientists and technical experts who had made the last test a success.
The Southeast Asian stock markets had also plenty of reason to let out a sigh of relief, reports Reuters. North Korea’s suspension of tests this weekend had led to a small rise in their stocks. Singaporean and Thai stocks rose by 0.4 percent while Malaysia’s rose by 0.2 percent. The U.S. dollar is slowly climbing up, although it still has to recover from a 10 percent decline this year.
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