S. Korea to stem market uncertainty from N.K. rocket launch

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S. Korea to stem market uncertainty from N.K. rocket launch

South Korea will take necessary actions "preemptively and swiftly" to cope with possible market uncertainties stemming from Pyongyang's rocket launch, the country's top economic policymaker said Wednesday.

"As North Korea said that it will launch a long-range rocket again following a failed attempt in April, tension in the East Asian region is running high," Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan told a crisis management meeting.

"We will thoroughly brace for any risk factors in the global financial markets and uncertainties that could be caused in the economic sector, while taking necessary steps preemptively and swiftly," he added.

The remarks were made just before media reports said that the North had fired off what it calls a "working satellite" into space. Pyongyang announced that it was preparing for the launch on Dec. 1.

The move, however, has been regarded by Seoul, Washington and many other countries as a cover for the test of a long-range ballistic missile.

The government has been beefing up its monitoring of financial markets on worries that such a move by the North could heighten market volatility.

On Tuesday, Vice Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon said the impact of the reports about the North's launch preparations had been marginal. Financial watchdogs have also been saying that even if the North goes ahead with its rocket launch, it would not have a significant impact on the domestic financial markets. [Yonhap]

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