North Koreans celebrate rocket success
Seoul: Two days after putting a satellite into orbit, North Koreans gathered on Friday in Pyongyang for a mass rally to celebrate Wednesday`s long-range rocket launch.
According to the video broadcast on North Korea’s state television, huge crowds were seen cheering to mark the launch, which has drawn condemnation from across the world.
Meanwhile, South Korea has claimed to have retrieved debris from the three-stage, long-range rocket. Seoul will study it to assess its technology, said the BBC.
North Korea`s satellite launch came only after repeated failures and hundreds of millions of dollars. It is an achievement for young authoritarian leader Kim Jong Un, who said the launch "further consolidated" the country`s status "as a space power”, the government`s official Korean Central News Agency had reported on Thursday. It added that Kim personally issued a written launch order and "stressed the need to continue to launch satellites in the future”.
Also on Thursday, South Korea`s Defence Ministry said the satellite was orbiting normally at a speed of 7.6 kilometres (4.7 miles) per second, though it`s not known what mission it is performing. North Korean space officials say the satellite would be used to study crops and weather patterns.
Though Pyongyang insists the project is peaceful, it also has conducted two nuclear tests and has defied international demands that it give up its nuclear weapons program.
A senior US official said the satellite is tumbling in orbit and not acting as it should, but the official said that doesn`t necessarily mean it is out of control.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has condemned the launch, calling it a missile test that violated two UN resolutions.
(With Agency inputs)
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