With markets about to close for the next 2 days, the question on every trader’s mind is: “should i carry risk over the weekend, or should I dump it all in case North Korea fires another test, or non-test, ICBM launch which may be just the provocation Trump needs to give the green light to a squadron of B-1 bombers to begin a bombing campaign.” After all, Trump himself tweeted this morning that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
While we don’t know if Kim will “find another path”, late on Friday KBS World Radio, the official international broadcasting station of South Korea (which is owned by the Korean Broadcasting System), reports that according to Radio Free Asia (RFA), in a potential warning that Pyongyang may be preparing yet another imminent escalation, “North Korean authorities have dispatched emergency standby orders to the leaders of the ruling Workers’ Party committees and civil defense units.”
Friday’s RFA report quotes a source in Yanggang Province as saying that the Central Military Commission of the party delivered the orders via e-mail.
The e-mail apparently arrived even before the North publicly threatened to retaliate against the U.S. “hundreds of thousands of times” over newly approved U.N. sanctions.
A separate source in the North has reportedly told RFA that the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper carrying the North’s statement was distributed by military helicopters in Jagang Province on Tuesday. The source said it was the first time military helicopters have been used to deliver the newspaper except when the paper carried new year’s messages by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
And while the report has yet to be confirmed by other news outlets, traders are furiously hitting refresh on the website of 38North.org for the daily satellite image update of North Korea’s missile launch preparedness, which has yet to hit and which could mean the difference between another sleepy, boring open on Monday and a VIX surging above 20, 30 or more depending on what “path” Kim Jong-Un picks over the next 48 hours.
* * *