Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Kim asks hungry to swallow rocket story
April 8, 2009 - 7:49PM
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il says he regrets that money spent on a rocket launch could not have been used to help his hungry people, state media said today, while praising the "historic" launch.
"While preparing for this proud victory, the General (Kim) felt regret that more resources could not be used for the people's livelihood but said the people would understand him," the ruling communist party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said.
"Our hearts are rent by the General's remarks."
Pyongyang says Sunday's launch put an experimental communications satellite into orbit. Washington and its allies say the real purpose was to test a long-range missile in defiance of UN resolutions.
One South Korean analyst has estimated the cost of the satellite program at $US500 million ($700 million). Seoul, Japan and the US military say the North did not succeed in putting a satellite into orbit.
South Korean Unification Minister has said the North could have used the money it spent to cover its estimated food shortage of one million tons this year.
But Pyongyang's media said the people welcome the launch.
"Chants of jubilation are reverberating throughout the country on the news that our satellite is beaming back the Song of General Kim Il-Sung and the Song of General Kim Jong-Il," Rodong Sinmun said in reference to the founding president and his son.
It heaped praise on the leader for the launch and urged people to step up efforts to turn the impoverished country into a "prosperous and powerful state" by 2012, the 100th anniversary of Kim Il-Sung's birth.
"The successful satellite launch is a glorious fruit of the Dear General's Songun (military-first) revolutionary leadership," said Rodong Sinmun.
"The fruitful launch of the satellite Kwangmyongsong 2 is a historic event that heralded victory in our struggle to build a prosperous and powerful state."

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