Pop concert for Kim Jong Un celebrates North Korea's missile launch

Patrice Gainsbourg
Julho 12, 2017

But as Kim was lauded, South Korean officials cast new doubt on one of the key claims made by the North Korea following its successful test of the long-distance rocket.

North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is "likely" to be able to deliver a 500kg warhead to San Diego, California, within two years, a USA monitoring group said yesterday, after its launch sparked global alarm last week.

The NIS also says that the worldwide community is toughening restrictions on North Korea in the wake of its missile launch and that the North conducted only 33 diplomatic exchanges with 17 countries during the first half of this year, which is the lowest rate since Kim Jong-un took power (68 in 2012 down to 38 in 2016).

South Korea's intelligence agency likewise does not believe North Korea has secured re-entry capabilities for its intercontinental ballistic missile, a South Korean lawmaker said yesterday.

Parliamentarian Yi Wan-young said during a televised news briefing that South Korea's National Intelligence Service had not been able to confirm that the rocket re-entered the atmosphere. About North Korean nuclear tests, the NIS said, "The nuclear test site at Punggye Village is ready to go whenever Kim Jong-un gives the word, but there are no signs that another test is imminent".

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Pyongyang has been the scene of a slew of special events to mark the July 4 launch of Hwasong-14, which is believed to be capable of reaching most of Alaska and possibly farther.

Leading the bill at the concert was the Moranbong Band, an all-female ensemble that was hand-picked by Kim and serves as something of the "soft" face of his regime.

Clips of the concert shown on North Korean television on Monday showed the crowd repeatedly cheering and applauding for Kim.

The concert, which took place on Sunday before a packed crowd, many in uniform, also featured dancing.

A similar pop ensemble called the Chongbong Band also performed, along with the uniformed State Merited Chorus and the Wangjaesan Art Troupe.

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