Gold has broken above $1,300 for the first time in almost a year this week, amid increasingly provocative military actions from North Korea.

As political uncertainty rises, hedge funds have poured money into the shiny metal - long thought to be a safe haven asset and the inverse of the US dollar - with a record $19bn of gold futures snapped up in the past month.

With the renewed interest, some analysts are suggesting gold could climb to a four-year high above $1,400.

"If these extreme political circumstances continue it could drive the price to $1,400," said Nizam Hamid, WisdomTree in Europe's ETF Strategist.

"As a mechanism for tactical trading, gold will always have a role to play, and in the current environment of elevated uncertainty it could certainly continue to climb."

Despite hedge funds enlarging their holdings and a climbing price, mainstream investors continue to shy away from gold, meaning that gold ETFs have seen 35 tonnes of outflows since August.

Gold remains a long way off its 2011 peak above $1,900 at the height of the Eurozone crisis.