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North Korea’s ICBM test is a concern for markets – BBH

Analysts at BBH note that many observers expressed alarm over North Korea's ICBM test as the yen strengthened.  

Key Quotes

“Korean stocks eased even though the MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.25%, for the first increase this week.  However, what many seem to miss is that this test makes progress possible.  First, the missile test suggests that North Korea has acquired the capability of striking the entire US mainland.  North Korea's leader said that with this test, the nuclear program is complete.  That suggests further tests are not necessary.  Does it still need to develop some features, like re-entry?  Reports suggest perhaps.”

This is not a question of certainty, but of strategic ambiguity.  It is like Israel traditionally refusing to confirm whether it has nuclear capability.  Its adversaries must assume it does.  North Korea now has a face-saving way to stop its ICBM tests.  This will allow the US to claim victory too in a "better behaved North Korea."  And a greater sense of stability in the region.”  

 

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