South Korean markets and country-specific exchange traded funds stumbled Thursday after President Donald Trump canceled a meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
On Thursday, the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWY) fell 1.3%, Franklin FTSE South Korea ETF (NYSEArca: FLKR) dipped 1.2% and First Trust South Korea AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FKO) declined 1.4%.
Trump, citing a number of hostile statements from North Korea, withdrew from a highly anticipated summit meeting with Kim Jong Un, adding that “this missed opportuity is truly sad moment in history,” the New York Times reports.
North Korea’s Open Hostility
“Based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I believe it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump said. “Please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place.”
The sudden reversal was a cause for concern among South Korean market observers as the renewed geopolitical tensions in the region could weigh on economic activity.
Trump’s decision also creates a major problem for South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, whom orchestrated the diplomatic thaw that led to the agreement by Trump to meet. Moon remarked that the cancellation was “disconcerting and very regrettable.”