While pretty much any preemptive attack necessarily will provoke retaliation, a U.S. strike on North Korea's nuclear sites would certainly provoke an even bigger one, as the North Korean government could only interpret it as the start of an American war of regime change. This retaliation, even before factoring in North Korea's nuclear program would destroy much of South Korea, and likely kill upwards of a million people.
The Korean won lost ground by 1.8 percent against the USA dollar over the recent three days, while the credit default swaps (CDS) premium also rose 66 basis points, marking the highest since April a year ago.
"An official from the North Korean side came out to meet him, but there was no conversation" between the two sides, a unification ministry official said, according to News 1.
"A small event can make the market fluctuate to a large extent amid rising uncertainties over the upcoming developments", the finance ministry said in a release.
After an interrogation, the South Korean government concluded the North Korean national wanted to return to North Korea.
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The man, noted to be in his 30s, was rescued Sunday near Daecheongdo, one of South Korea's frontline islands along the Northern Limit Line, the ministry detailed.
The defection comes more than a month after a flurry of North Korea military desertions.
On June 18, a North Korean man crossed a narrow stretch of river west of Seoul and defected to the South through the estuary area of the Han River in north Gimpo Peninsula at 0230 KST.
The four men and one woman were spotted in the sea northeast of Gangneung city, Gangwon Province near the inter-Korean border.