Threats of conflict coming from North Korea have increased international scrutiny of untested young dictator Kim Jong Un, as the isolated nation announced today that it will restart a facility capable of expanding the regime’s nuclear arsenal.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said it would be a “serious step” if North Korea violates its obligations by following through on a threat to restart nuclear facilities shut by a 2007 disarmament accord.
The won and the Kospi index of shares dropped to their lowest levels in at least a week after North Korea said it will restart its Yongbyon nuclear site, heightening tensions on the peninsula. Government bonds gained.
Stocks rose, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a record close, as concern over Europe’s debt crisis eased and U.S. factory orders topped forecasts. Gold fell and Italian and Spanish bond yields slid.