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The whole world was watching as North Korea launched their missile last Friday. Despite several warnings of the possible repercussions from the International Community, Pyongyang decided to go ahead with the launch.
After a minute of flight, the missile broke into pieces, making it yet another failure in North Korea’s long record of rocket launches. In the past, Pyongyang has been quick to release a joyous account of the test, testifying to its success. But this time at the reins of Kim Jong-un, North Korea has released a statement confirming the launch had been unsuccessful. The State claims the purpose was to drive a satellite into orbit, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s first national leader.
“The Earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit. Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure,” state television said.
As the statement was released, tens of thousands of people celebrated the unveiling of two new statues of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jon-il in Central Pyongyang. North Korea has also announced that Kim Jong-un is a new member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, the nation’s top decision-making body.
The new title is a valid recognition of Kim Jon-un’s leadership. Kim Jon-un follows in the footsteps of his ancestors: Kim Il-sung is known as the “Eternal President of the Republic” and Kim Jon-il was given the title of “eternal general secretary” of the Worker’s Party.
Even though North Korea said that is was merely a satellite launch, most speculated that it was a missile test.
The UN Security Council condemned the launch for being a violation of two Security Council resolutions. Susan Rice, the United State’s UN ambassador, added: “Every time they go down a path such as this, their isolation intensifies, the needs of their people increase and they become more and more out of the bounds of the international community. That will be the case if they do so.”
North Korea’s neighbors, Japan and South Korea were quick to react to the launch and the White House released a statement regarding the situation.
“Despite the failure of its attempted missile launch, North Korea’s provocative action threatens regional security, violates international law and contravenes its own recent commitments.” Moreover, “North Korea is only further isolating itself by engaging in provocative acts, and is wasting its money on weapons and propaganda displays while the North Korean people go hungry.” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
All we can do is wait and hope that North Korea chooses its people’s welfare over weapons.