Nuclear accident rumor about North is probed

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Nuclear accident rumor about North is probed

The national police said Saturday they have launched an investigation into an earlier market rumor about a nuclear explosion in North Korea, trying to determine if speculators had intentionally spread a false report to make profits.

The Cyber Terror Response Center at the National Police Agency said an investigation was underway upon a request from the Financial Supervisory Service, the nation’s financial watchdog.

The rumor spread Friday that a light-water reactor had exploded in North Korea and was leaking radioactive materials that could reach South Korea.

“We received the request late Friday night,” a police official said. “We will look into details of the rumor and verify other relevant facts.”

According to police, if speculators spread the rumor specifically to disrupt the market and make profits, they may be punished for violating laws guiding capital markets and financial investments.

The government quickly dismissed the rumor as groundless, but word spread through instant messenger services among securities brokerages in Yeouido, a major financial district in Seoul, while others tweeted the rumor.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index fell 1.11 percent on Friday, and at one point shed as much as 2.12 percent. The local currency depreciated 0.88 percent to the greenback.

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