PYONGYANG, North Korea — North Korea parlayed the success of last week’s rocket launch to glorify leader Kim Jong Un and his late father in a ceremony on Sunday, the eve of the first anniversary of his death.
The successful firing the rocket on Wednesday — ostensibly to place a satellite in space — was a clear sign that Kim will continue carrying out his father Kim Jong Il’s policies even if they draw sanctions and international condemnation.
The West sees the rocket as a thinly-disguised way of carrying out UN-banned tests of long-range missile technology, which it says not only threatens regional stability but is also a waste of resources when the country is struggling with a chronic food shortage.
There are concerns also that in upcoming weeks, Pyongyang will press ahead with a nuclear test, necessary in the march toward building a warhead small enough to be carried by a long-range missile.
The program has put more strains on the country’s relations with South Korea, which will vote Wednesday in a presidential election.