Call it a conundrum.
The yen has surged, with the dollar fetching around 109 yen, having shed more than four big figures in the last month.
That's in stark contrast to another country likely on the North's target list, South Korea, which saw its currency, the won, markedly drop. The dollar traded near 1,142 won on Friday, largely within the same upward trend it's seen in recent weeks.
The dollar's gyrations come as fears rise over the possibility of an armed confrontation with North Korea. Earlier this week, markets were roiled by a statement carried by Pyongyang's state news agency that it was "carefully examining an operational plan" for targeting the U.S. island territory of Guam with "enveloping fire."
If Washington wished to avoid military action, it should stop "recklessly" provoking Pyongyang, a separate statement from another military spokesperson said, according to the stat-run outlet.
North Korea's threats comes amid blunt warnings from President Donald Trump, who has used language similar to the North's own frequent saber-rattling: Pyongyang "will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before," Trump said this week.
The president's warning followed a Washington Post report, citing a confidential U.S. intelligence assessment, that claimed the pariah state had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead which could fit inside its missiles.
The current war of words appears so far confined between Pyongyang and Trump, but if the situation escalates, Japan could become a target.
But instead of outflows, the yen has seen safe-haven inflows.
Takuji Okubo, chief economist at Japan Macro Advisors, said that's because Japan is a net overseas investor, both on the retail and institutional levels.