In the News – Three convicted of N. Korea rumor-based stock rigging

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In the News – Three convicted of N. Korea rumor-based stock rigging

SEOUL, June 28 (Yonhap) — Three men who manipulated stock prices by spreading false rumors of a nuclear reactor explosion in North Korea have been sentenced to prison terms, court officials said Thursday.

The rumors, which circulated through an online messenger service, claimed a light-water reactor had exploded in North Korea and was leaking radioactive materials that could reach the South.

On Jan 6, the rumors hit South Korean stock markets, causing the benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index to fall 1.11 percent, after shedding as much as 2.12 percent at one point. The local currency depreciated 0.88 percent against the greenback.

A 28-year-old surnamed Woo was sentenced to two years in prison, according to officials at the Seoul Central District Court.

The court sentenced Woo’s two accomplices to one and a half years and one year in prison, suspended for three years.

The three pocketed a total of 29 million won (US$17,323) from the difference in stock prices triggered by their schemes, the officials said.

The trio was also involved in a separate stock manipulation in February that stemmed from false rumors of a vaccine development at a pharmaceutical company.

Original article can be found here.

In the News – N. Korea believed to have enriched uranium for up to 6 bombs: expert

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In the News – N. Korea believed to have enriched uranium for up to 6 bombs: expert

SEOUL, May 2 (Yonhap) — North Korea is believed to now have enough large stocks of weapons-grade highly enriched uranium for up to six bombs, a local nuclear expert said Wednesday, amid growing concerns that the North may be ready for a new nuclear test.

The North has long been believed to have enough radioactive material for six to seven bombs using plutonium from its main nuclear complex located at Yongbyon, north of the capital Pyongyang. Since 2009, Pyongyang appears to have started relying on enrichment activities because of its dwindling stock of plutonium after two rounds of nuclear tests.

In November 2010, North Korea disclosed an industrial-scale uranium enrichment plant to a visiting U.S. scientist, claiming that the enrichment program is for peaceful energy development. Outside experts, however, believe that it gives the North a new source of fissile material to make atomic bombs. Continue reading