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North Korea's Kim lauds military in first major speech

Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 02:32

April 15 - North Korea's Kim Jong-un sticks to military-first policy and calls for ''final victory'' in first major speech. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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North Korea's celebrations of founder Kim Il-Sung's 100th birthday went ahead as planned on Sunday (April 15), notwithstanding the failure of a much anticipated rocket launch. The parade was as grand as ever - with soldiers marching in unison to the Kim Il-sung square in Pyongyang. Tens of thousands of miltary troops and civilians were in attendance, the spring sunlight casting a soft glow on the festivities. Leading the celebrations was of course the country's young leader Kim Jong-un. In his first major public speech since taking over the reigns when Kim Jong-il died, the twentysomething year old Kim lauded his grandfather and his father as the founder and building of the armed forces. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG-UN SAYING: "The flag of Sun of our great comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il will fly forever at the front of our revolutionary members who fight for victory and honour and the flag will always encourage and lead us to the new victory." Reading monotonously from his 20-minute speech - he urged his countrymen to push for victory. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) NORTH KOREAN LEADER KIM JONG-UN SAYING: "Let's move forward for our final victory!" The mood was definitely optimistic. Kim was smiling and joking with generals after the speech. His message was a familiar one -- rallying support for the country's military. The parade that showed off tanks and weaponry was a reminder that the communist state's military power is not to be ignored. But carrying no real economic weight and shunned by the international community, Pyongyang could be forced to rely on the same tactics, such as periodic rocket launches and nuclear tests to remind the world of its existence, analysts say. Many expect that it will do another nuclear test to show that it should be taken seriously. Though the rocket failure posed a challenge to the new leader, it is unlikely that his power will be diminished. Michaela Cabrera, Reuters.

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North Korea's Kim lauds military in first major speech

Sunday, April 15, 2012 - 02:32