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S. Korea dismisses rumors of nuclear explosion in N. Korea
SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday dismissed as groundless a rumor that a light-water reactor has exploded in North Korea's nuclear complex, sending leaked radiation to Pyongyang and as far as South Korea.

   The rumor cited an unidentified secret Japanese intelligence operative in the isolated communist country.

   The rumor quickly spread among securities firms in Yeouido, South Korea's equivalent to New York's Wall Street, through instant messenger services on Friday afternoon as ordinary citizens also tweeted messages on the allegation.

   South Korean officials quickly dismissed the rumor, saying they received no intelligence on the alleged explosion of the light-water reactor and that there is little probability of radiation leaks from the nuclear blast.

   "Nothing has been confirmed," an official of South Korea's intelligence authorities said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

   South Korea's financial watchdog asked police to launch an investigation into the latest rumor that experts say could be part of a scheme by stock market manipulators to make money.

   An official of LIG Investment and Securities Co. said those involved in derivatives may be behind the rumor to make illicit gains.

   South Korea's benchmark Kospi index fell 20.6 points to 1,843.14.

   In November, North Korea said it was speeding up its production of low enriched uranium for its light-water nuclear reactor as the United States expressed concerns over Pyongyang's construction of a new nuclear reactor.