A PARTY atmosphere took over Pyongyang on Wednesday as citizens lined the streets and fireworks illuminated the night sky in celebration of the scientists involved in the largest nuclear test in the country’s history.
Transported through the streets in buses, the specialists ended up at Kim Il Sung Square where tens of thousands of people had gathered to praise their efforts, reported by AFP.
Sunday’s blast was the biggest the North has attempted to date and was picked up by seismic stations all over the world. The US Geological Survey recorded a 6.3-magnitude earthquake, which was human-made.
It was met with international condemnation, with the United States, South Korea and Japan vowing to apply “maximum pressure” on the North to curb its nuclear weapons programme.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described it as a “successful ICBM-ready H-bomb test”.
Speakers at the rally said the North’s military “will put an end to the destiny of the gangster-like US imperialists through the most merciless and strongest preemptive strikes if they and the hordes of traitors finally ignite a war”, KCNA reported.
The celebration began with a parade at which the scientists were cheered along by citizens waving pom-poms and brandishing banners.
“We offer the greatest honour to Comrade Kim Jong Un, the Supreme Leader who brought us the greatest achievement in the history of the Korean people,” read one banner in the plaza
Another, with a picture of a missile on a caterpillar-tracked transporter, proclaimed: “No one can stop us on our road to the future.”
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In July, North Korea tested two Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could fly about 10,000km, putting many parts of the US mainland within range and prompting a new round of tough international sanctions.
In response to the latest nuclear test, the US and its allies urged the United Nations Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea, ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers abroad, and to subject leader Kim Jong Un to an asset freeze and travel ban, according to a draft resolution seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
North Korea said it would respond to any UN sanctions and US pressure with “powerful counter measures”, accusing the United States of aiming to start a war.
Additional reporting by Reuters