Skip to main content

Huge crowds gather in North Korean capital to celebrate rocket launch

By Paula Hancocks, CNN
December 14, 2012 -- Updated 0426 GMT (1226 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Vast crowds of soldiers and civilians applaud speeches by officials
  • A controversial rocket launch by North Korea this week put a satellite in orbit
  • It was a public relations victory for the North's young leader, Kim Jong Un

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- North Korea held a huge rally Friday in the center of its capital, Pyongyang, to celebrate the successful launch of a long-range rocket this week that put a satellite in orbit.

A special broadcast on state-run television showed vast crowds of soldiers and civilians standing in neat ranks clapping and cheering as officials made congratulatory speeches.

The rocket launch Wednesday took place sooner than many observers expected and was met with international condemnation, as it was widely believed to be a cover for testing ballistic missile technology that North Korea has been forbidden from using by the United Nations.

Putting the satellite in orbit was a technological breakthrough for the secretive North Korean regime, and a public relations victory its young leader, Kim Jong Un.

North Korea launch sparks global anger

The success, after years of failed attempts, stoked fresh concerns among world leaders about the North's missile and nuclear programs.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Kim Jong Il's former bodyguard tells of beatings and starvation while imprisoned in the country's most notorious prison camp.
November 18, 2014 -- Updated 0559 GMT (1359 HKT)
The chief of the Commission of Inquiry into North Korea's human rights says the world can no longer plead ignorance to the regime's offenses.
November 10, 2014 -- Updated 1834 GMT (0234 HKT)
Putting the United States at the same table as lawless thugs isn't just morally repugnant -- it's ineffective, writes Christian Whiton.
November 9, 2014 -- Updated 1711 GMT (0111 HKT)
Why did North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agree to released American prisoners Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller?
October 14, 2014 -- Updated 0025 GMT (0825 HKT)
North Korea has released photos that claim to show leader Kim Jong Un, whose absence for over a month has raised speculation.
October 11, 2014 -- Updated 0543 GMT (1343 HKT)
Despite tense relations, China benefits from Kim Jong Un's rule in North Korea. David McKenzie explains.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea has "the world's most advantageous human rights system," the country declares.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 0135 GMT (0935 HKT)
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions Monday in an exclusive interview with CNN.
May 28, 2013 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
Beijing-based tour company posts exclusive photos and video from inspection visit.
September 1, 2014 -- Updated 0852 GMT (1652 HKT)
The crowd cheers as the stars make their way to the ring for first pro-wrestling bout North Korea has seen in almost 20 years.
December 2, 2013 -- Updated 1316 GMT (2116 HKT)
Visiting the DPRK is easy these days, so long as you don't forget to play by their rules.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1445 GMT (2245 HKT)
CNN's Will Ripley is given a rare look inside North Korea and tours Kim Jong Un's pet project, a waterpark.
May 22, 2014 -- Updated 0012 GMT (0812 HKT)
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
ADVERTISEMENT