Snuggly, cuddly Kim Jong-un wraps warm to watch his spy satellite being launched
Gotta stay warm during those late night rocket launches.
Apparently, not even the fire bursting out of a rocket nuzzle is enough to keep Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, toasty and warm.
The agency said North Korea has a fair few reasons to do this. ‘Strengthening its self-defensive capabilities’ and ‘defiantly ramping up war preparedness’ in the face of ‘the enemies’ dangerous military moves’ being among them.
Kim ‘oversaw the launch warmly congratulated all the cadres, scientists and technicians’ of the country’s space agency, NATA, the report added.
Photographs released by KCNA showed Kim casually watching the ‘successful’ rocket liftoff that came after two failed attempts to launch spy satellites this year.
The rocket passed over Okinawa, Japan and fell into the sea east of the Philippines, the Japanese Kyodo News agency reported.
Neither Japan nor the US have been able to confirm whether the payload entered space.
Japanese leaders condemned Pyongyang for violating UN Security Council resolutions banning North Korea from using ballistic missile technology.
The country’s emergency warning system, J-Alert, was triggered at 10.55pm, urging residents in the southern prefecture of Okinawa to take shelter.
A person from Ishigaki City, Okinawa, said according to the Tawainese station FTV News: ‘We did not expect to launch in the middle of the night.
‘This is an unprecedented situation and we did not expect it.’
The projectile split off into multiple parts, with one flung into the East China Sea, about 220 miles off the Korean Peninsula, at around 10.50pm. A second ended up in the Pacific Ocean around 745 miles southwest of Japan’s southernmost Okinotori Island at around 10.57pm.
No damage was recorded due to the missile, Tokyo’s top government spokesman, Hirokazu Matsuno, said.
North Korea had warned Japan it would send up a satellite within a nine-day window from today to December 1 before doing so the night before.
South Korea was startled, to say the least, by the launch too. Military officials said their shady neighbours launched an assumed military satellite in a southward direction from Tongchang-ri in North Korea’s northwest.
The country’s Ministry of National Defence in response said it intends to partially suspend an inter-Korean agreement and will restart front-line aerial surveillance of North Korea, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The 2018 deal saw buffer and no-fly zones set up around the heavily fortified border between the North and South. Neither side can survey the other or conduct live-firing exercises.
Agreeing with Japan, Heo Tae-keun, South Korea’s deputy minister of national defence policy, said the North’s satellite launch was a clear violation of UN resolutions and ‘a grave provocation that threatens our national security’.
Seoul and Washington, he added, are ready to ‘promptly and strongly punish’ North Korea.
The Pentagon said it was ‘still assessing the success of the launch’.
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