North Korea celebrates 'victory' rocket launch


North Korean female soldiers march during a military parade to mark 100 years since the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2012. The commemorations came just two days after a satellite launch timed to mark the centenary fizzled out embarrassingly when the rocket apparently exploded within minutes of blastoff and plunged into the sea.


Pedro Ugarte

North Koreans celebrated their successful rocket launch Friday with a mass parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il-Sung Square Friday, calling the mission "a victory" for Kim Jong-Un. 

"Under the great leadership of Kim Jong-Un, we are carrying out a sacred task towards our last victory so as to build strong and prosperous nation," politburo member from the Workers Party of Korea Kim Ki-nam said in a speech to the crowd, made up of tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, according to Reuters.

The 29-year-old leader shares the victory with the military's top political strategist Choe Ryong-hae, his uncle Jang Song-thaek and head of the country's missile and nuclear program, 84-year-old Ju Kyu-chang, Reuters reported. 

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Un, who marks his one-year anniversary in power next week,  issued a written order for the launch Wednesday morning, despite international condemnation, and "keenly observed" the process from start to finish, Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, according to ABC News Australia.

The leader of the reclusive country said that North Korea's successful launching of the satellite — which may in fact be spinning out of control above us — "showed at home and abroad the unshakable stand... to exercise the country's legitimate right to use space for peaceful purposes," according to KCNA.

Un also stressed the need for continued launches going forward, despite the UN Security Council's condemnation of the launch earlier this week. The United States is urging tougher sanctions on Pyongyang as future rockets become a distinct possibility, CNN reported

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