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(LEAD) N. Korea mobilizes 100,000 people to mark launch of SLBM: report

2016/09/04 14:36

(ATTN: CORRECTS mistake in lead; ADDS more details in para 4)

SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea mobilized some 100,000 people to mark the successful launch of its submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) in August, its main media outlet said Sunday.

The daily Rodong Sinmun, an organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, said a large scale welcoming ceremony was held in Pyongyang on Friday to praise the dedication of those that contributed to the successful launch of the SLBM.

The missile launched in the early hours of Aug. 24 flew some 500 kilometers and landed within Japan's air defense identification zone in the East Sea. The latest test-fire of the missile was the third this year and the longest flight achieved by that type of North Korean missile to date.

SLBMs are of particular concern to Seoul and its allies because there is no way to know when and where they will be launched.

The newspaper said people lined the streets of the capital city to fete the scientist and engineers that made the missile launch a success.

It said the contributors to the SLBM arrived in Pyongyang last Sunday and took in the various sites of the capital city, enjoyed rest and attended celebratory concerts.

The paper said North Korean leader Kim Jong-un even took photos with people who played a role in the missile test.

Related to the public mobilization, North Korean watchers in Seoul said Pyongyang reported that some 100,000 people also welcomed those who carried out the country's fourth nuclear test in January.

"The regime uses these accomplishments to build up its public support and get the people to rally support for the leadership, which is facing tough challenges in the face of tightened international sanctions," a Pyongyang watcher said.

This photo, released by the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Sept. 1, 2016, shows scientists and engineers who contributed to the launch of the SLBM in August posing for a group photo with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other dignitaries in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) This photo, released by the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper on Sept. 1, 2016, shows scientists and engineers who contributed to the launch of the SLBM in August posing for a group photo with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other dignitaries in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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