The North Korea nuclear test over the long labor day weekend in the U.S. is exactly why we try and close out of all long positions over the weekend news cycle. Sunday’s nuclear test by North Korea had an estimated strength of 50 kilotons which is 3x larger than the nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945.
The stock market had a big run-up over the last week and so the news of North Korea’s nuclear test could be a catalyst for profit taking and a market pullback; however, this is not the first time North Korea has conducted a nuclear test. North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests, in 2006, 2009, 2013, twice in 2016, and 2017.
2006 North Korea Nuclear Test
The 2006 North Korean nuclear test was on October 9, 2006. On October 20, 2006, Kim Jong-il allegedly said that he was “sorry” over his country’s nuclear test, and wished to return to talk with the United Nations. On October 31, 2006, North Korea agreed to rejoin six-nation disarmament talks.
At a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov stated that the power of the tests carried out was between 5 and 15 kilotons.
2009 North Korean Nuclear Test
The 2009 North Korean nuclear test was an underground detonation of a nuclear device on Monday, May 25, 2009. The estimated yield was 2.35 kilotons.
The 2009 North Korea nuclear test came against a backdrop of uncertainty about North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-il and who might succeed him. Mr. Kim suffered a stroke in August 2008 which prompted him to step up preparations to transfer power to one of his three known sons. Analysts believe the favorite son is his youngest, Kim Jong-un, who was in his mid-20s at the time.
2013 North Korea Nuclear Test
North Korea’s 2013 nuclear test occurred on February 12, 2013. It was an underground test. The USGS detected a 5.1 nuclear tremor. The nuclear blast had an estimated yield of 14 kilotons.
2016 North Korea Nuclear Test
North Korea conducted two tests in 2016. The first test was done on January 6, 2016 and the second on September 9, 2016.
The earthquake caused by the January 2016 nuclear test was 5.1 magnitude and was estimated to have a yield of 6 to 9 kilotons. North Korea declared that the 2016 test was a “successful” demonstration of a hydrogen bomb. Many expressed skepticism because the explosion was too small. Bruce W. Bennett, senior defense analyst of the RAND Corporation told BBC News that “the bang they should have gotten would have been 10 times greater… So Kim Jong-un is either lying, saying they did a hydrogen test when they didn’t, they just used a little bit more efficient fission weapon – or the hydrogen part of the test really didn’t work very well or the fission part didn’t work very well.”
The September 9, 2016 nuclear test occurred on the 68th anniversary of the founding of North Korea. The estimated yield was between 10 and 20 kilotons.
The UN Security Council finally figured out that China was supporting North Korea’s nuclear program. US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter stated in a press conference that “China has and shares an important responsibility for this development and has an important responsibility to reverse it”. China did not confirm its support for tougher sanctions against North Korea.
2017 North Korea Nuclear Test
North Korea conducted a nuclear test on September 3, 2017. The USGS reported a 6.3 magnitude earthquare near North Korea’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site. This was the largest nuclear weapon test to date with a nuclear yield of between 50 to 100 kilotons. North Korea claimed that they detonated a hydrogen bomb that can be loaded onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Trumps Failed Talk Tough Policy
President Trump’s policy of “talking tough” has clearly failed.
Right. Well it happened Mr. President. It happened.
Source: BBC YouTube
Ok so Kim Jong Un made a wise decision to not fire missiles at Guam. If that was wise, what do you call detonating a hydrogen bomb and threatening to put it on an ICBM and fire it at the United States? Perhaps unwise? Talk about straining out a gnat yet swallowing a camel!
The only option left for President Trump is to move forward with a massive bombing and invasion of North Korea. I think this is what the Generals that are advising President Trump are saying. I think John Bolton’s appearance yesterday on Fox News is exactly what the Generals that advise the President are saying:
Source: Fox YouTube
Stock Market Action Tuesday
With all the North Korea drama as well as the fact that September is the worst month of the year for the stock market, a VIX play like UVXY is the way to go IMO. Don’t place a market order to buy UVXY automatically at the open. UVXY could do an open gap up and then fade down or do an open gap down and then fade up. Instead, we want to see what institutional traders and hedge funds with their ALGOs are going to do first. Within 15 minutes of market open, we should have a good idea if we want to go for a quick scalp trade in UVXY.