Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Korea: North Celebrates; South Mocks

Left: Participants clap as tens of thousands of North Koreans attend a mass rally at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, 4/8/09 to celebrate the April 5th launch of the country's rocket (AP/APTN). Right: South Korean protesters burn a mock rocket, North Korean flag, and portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a rally against North Korea's rocket launch in Seoul, South Korea, 4/8/09 (AP/Ahn Young-joon).

SEOUL, South Korea – Tens of thousands of North Koreans rallied Wednesday in Pyongyang to support Kim Jong Il as he embarks on his third term as leader and to celebrate a rocket launch that was criticized elsewhere as a violation of U.N. sanctions.
Kim was expected to attend a session of the North's rubber-stamp parliament Thursday and be re-elected as chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission in his first major public appearance since a reported stroke in August.

The 67-year-old Kim rules the impoverished yet nuclear-armed North in his capacity as chief of the commission, which oversees the country's 1.2 million-member military — one of the world's largest. More>>

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