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2009/05/26 09:03 KST
N. Korean leader attended musical on day of nuclear test: report

   SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il attended an art performance by female soldiers, state media there said Tuesday, as international consultations were underway over how to punish Pyongyang's second nuclear test.

   The report by the Korean Central News Agency and other media, first dispatched at 1 a.m., did not say when the show was staged, but it was likely on Monday, the same day the country carried out its second nuclear test. State media usually report on Kim's activities on the day they are made or the following day.

   Kim "said that it is another aspect of the pride of our army to have such a dependable women's unit," the report said of his visit to the Kamnamu (persimmon tree) company of the Korean People's Army (KPA).

   The soldiers presented songs like "Our General Is the Best," "General and Our Kamnamu Company" and "May Soldiers' Song of Happiness Reverberate Far and Wide," it said.

   The soldiers' songs praised "the profound loving care of Kim Jong-il and strikingly demonstrated the might of the heroic KPA which has grown to be a matchless army and the iron faith and will and militant spirit of the KPA," it said.

   Kim's entourage included KPA Generals Hyon Chol-hae and Ri Myong-su and Workers' Party Secretary Kim Ki-nam, as well as the party's department directors, Jang Song-thaek, Pak Nam-gi and Choe Ik-gyu, it said. Jang, married to the leader's only sister Kim Kyong-hi, is also a member of the National Defense Commission, the highest military decision-making body.

   North Korea's second nuclear test, following its first in 2006, drew strong condemnation by the international community. The U.N. Security Council swiftly rebuked the test as a "clear violation" of a 2006 resolution and said it will introduce stronger measures against the North.

   hkim@yna.co.kr
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