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Seoul: Stocks and won fall as North Korea-US spat heightens

[SEOUL] South Korean stocks and won fell after North Korea's foreign minister declared that Kim Jong Un's regime can shoot down US warplanes flying in international airspace and described US President Donald Trump's recent comments as tantamount to a declaration of war.

The benchmark Kospi index declined 0.3 per cent as of 9.05am in Seoul, while the won weakened 0.3 per cent against the US dollar.

"It is hard for me to propose investors to buy Korean equities as a buying opportunity even if they fall on North Korea risks today, as no one knows whether it would be the bottom or could fall further," Noh Keun Hwan, strategist at Korea Investment & Securities, said by phone.

North Korea's Ri Yong Ho's comments on Monday startled markets in the US, coming days after the Pentagon sent planes near North Korea's border in a heightened show of force.

White House spokeswomen Sarah Sanders said that the US hasn't "declared war on North Korea" and called the suggestion "absurd".


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