Hundreds of thousands of North Korean soldiers and civilians rallied Friday in the center of Pyongyang for a mass celebration of the country's long-range rocket launch, state television showed.
The huge crowd in Kim Il-Sung Square, standing in neat, organised ranks, applauded speeches by senior military, party and government officials hailing the success of Wednesday's launch and praising the country's young leader, Kim Jong-Un.
"This was achieved thanks to the Great Marshall Kim Jong-Un's endless loyalty, bravery and wisdom," said Jang Chol, president of the State Academy of Sciences.
The rally came hours after state media published a statement by Kim Jong-Un ordering more satellite launches in the future, despite the global outrage and U.N. condemnation triggered by Wednesday's launch.
North Korea says it placed a satellite in orbit for peaceful research, but critics say the launch amounted to a banned ballistic missile test that marked a major advance for the communist state's nuclear weapons program.
The U.N. Security Council held emergency talks on Wednesday after the North, already under international sanctions for nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, ignored pleas from friends and foes and went ahead with the launch.
Meanwhile, South Korea's navy has retrieved debris from the first stage of the long-range rocket, which will be analyzed to determine its level of ballistic expertise, the defense ministry said Friday.
"This debris is expected to be an important piece of information in determining North Korea's rocket capability," said defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok.
The section salvaged by the navy appears to be a fuel tank, inscribed with the name of the "Unha-3" rocket.
The analysis will be carried out by a team of civilian and military experts, as well as U.S. specialists in Soviet missile technology.
The first stage of the rocket launched on Wednesday fell in the sea off the Korean peninsula, while the second splashed down east of the Philippines.
The recovered debris was found on the sea bed, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) west of the southwestern port of Gunsan, Yonhap news agency said, at a depth of around 80 meters (260 feet).
|Copyright © 2012 Naharnet.com. All Rights Reserved.||http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/64552|