Are Markets Ready to Ignore North Korea?

The ongoing conflict with North Korea has been going on for months now, and it has at times shaken global financial markets. The tough rhetoric coming from both sides has kept investors on edge, although the threats from North Korea may begin to fall on deaf ears.

Tough talk from the North has been largely absent in recent days, until today. A North Korean State agency reportedly threatened to use nuclear weapons to “sink” Japan and reduce the United States to “ashes and darkness.” The latest threats appear to be a direct response to the latest sanctions imposed on the nation by the U.N.

The North Korean agency, known as the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, also called for the breakup of the U.N., referring to it as a “tool of evil.” The committee was reportedly quoted as saying that “the four islands of the archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”

Loosely translated, Juche means self-reliance and it is the official state ideology of North Korea.

The latest threats do seemingly appear to be a step up in rhetoric. These statements made are a direct threat against the U.S. and its allies. The question is: How will the U.S. respond?

Interestingly, the latest threats do not appear to be causing much of a stir in financial markets. Stocks are slightly lower in early action, with gold and silver also moving slightly lower. It seems that investors have grown accustomed to the threats from the North, and any further threats from the nation may not have the same effect that they did in previous months.

A tougher U.S. response, however, could potentially shake markets to their core. President Trump has reiterated that the U.S. will not tolerate threats against itself or its allies, and it begs the question of whether or not the U.S. will take additional action.

Even with the latest round of sanctions, the North is not likely to back down. Time will tell if the squeeze of tough sanctions will be enough to promote change in the country’s stance towards the U.S. and its allies, but the ongoing conflict will likely keep a floor under gold prices and other perceived safe havens for the time being.

The gold market has a lot going for it right now, and the North Korean conflict is only one bullish factor. If you do not already have an allocation in gold, now may be the ideal time to get started.

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