Hours after the rest of the world already knew, North Korea’s state media triumphantly announced in a special news bulletin to the nation Sunday it had successfully launched a satellite into orbit, calling it a major milestone in the nation’s history and the “greatest gift of loyalty” to the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un.
In a possible hint of what might lie ahead, however, North Korea’s state media implored the nation on the eve of the launch to be prepared for whatever “violent storm” may be coming.
They may need to: the U.S., South Korea and Japan have strongly condemned the launch, and potential new sanctions over both the launch and the North’s purported hydrogen bomb test just one month ago are now being discussed in the U.N. Security Council.
North Korea’s most famous and venerated TV newscaster, dressed in a traditional pink gown, proudly announced on the TV bulletin – reserved for extremely important events – that the Earth observation satellite Kwangmyongsong-4 had been successfully put into orbit early Sunday. She called it an “epochal” moment.
The satellite Kwangmyongsong means Shining Star.
The news Sunday was the first acknowledgment of the rocket preparations made to the North Korean public, even though the launch plan had been released in advance to international organizations to avoid accidents with commercial shipping or aircraft and had been closely watched by experts around the world for more than a week.
As the news aired, crowds in Pyongyang cheered and applauded as they watched the news of the launch, which was displayed on large screens at different places around the capital.
“As far as I know, there are few countries in the world that launched their own satellites,” said one, Pyongyang resident Ri Hyon Gil. He added that he was proud of both the launch and the news of the H-bomb test because they demonstrate the North’s scientific and technological progress. Read More