Seoul's Ministry of Unification announced that South Korea officially returned a North Korean man back to its northern neighbor Friday after the man was rescued from the southern side of the Yellow Sea. South Korean officials noted the North "did not show any special reaction".
The Korean won lost ground by 1.8 percent against the US dollar over the recent three days, while the credit default swaps (CDS) premium also rose 66 basis points, marking the highest since April past year.
Seoul's Unification Ministry is reportedly monitoring whether social instability in the North could be behind the leap in direct defections.
"A small event can make the market fluctuate to a large extent amid rising uncertainties over the upcoming developments", the finance ministry said in a release.
As the rhetoric continues to pick up around North Korea, the talk of military options, or worse the "military solution" increasingly appears to center around the conceit that there is some possibility for a limited war, or some other way that the U.S. could make a quick attack on North Korea and fix everything militarily.
A total of 36 North Koreans were voluntarily repatriated to the North in 2017, according to News 1.
There have been multiple high-profile escapes from the North across the North-South border in recent months, with today's defection coming after five North Koreans crossed into the South across the heavily guarded maritime border via boat on July 1. Tens of thousands of North Koreans have defected to the South, but the majority have done so via China. The soldier reportedly used blocks of Styrofoam as floats for his back and shoulders to survive the unsafe swim.
Two North Korean soldiers also walked across the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) - the heavily fortified border between the two Koreas - on June 13 and June 23.
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