S&P says DPRK rocket launch has no material impact on S. Korea’s sovereign ratings

The rocket launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) will have no material impact on South Korea’s sovereign ratings, global credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s said Wednesday.

“S&P does not expect Wednesday’s rocket launch by the DPRK to exert a material negative impact on the sovereign ratings on the Republic of Korea (ROK),” S&P said in an e-mailed statement.

The rating agency noted that developments following the launch will not raise geopolitical risks in the Korean peninsula on a prolonged basis, saying that the negative economic impact on South Korea will be modest and temporary.

The S&P, however, cautioned that the geopolitical risks partly offset the relatively strong fiscal, economic and external metrics that support the credit ratings of South Korea. It upgraded the sovereign rating on South Korea by one notch to “A-plus” in mid- September.

The DPRK’s official news agency KCNA reported that the DPRK successfully launched the long-range rocket, saying that the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite was launched by the Unha-3 carrier rocket from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, and entered pre-set orbit.

Seoul officials were quoted as saying that Pyongyang fired off the three-stage rocket at 9:51 a.m.. The first stage of the rocket was reported to fall in the Yellow Sea, before its second stage landed in waters near the Philippines.

Seoul shares traded at positive terrain as the DPRK’s rocket launch was already priced in. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.4 percent from the previous sessions as of 2:30 p.m..

Xinhua