Kim Jong-un throws massive banquet for the scientists behind North Korea’s latest nuclear bomb test as the South fears new wave of missile launches

Sunday, September 10, 2017
By Paul Martin

Kim threw a banquet to laud the nuclear scientists and other top military officials
It was topped with an art performance and a photo session with Kim himself
The young leader broke into a broad smile as he posed with two top scientists
Kim praised the developers in as ‘taking the lead’ in nuclear advancements

10 September 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hosted a massive celebration to congratulate his nuclear scientists and technicians who steered the country’s sixth and largest nuclear test a week ago, its official news agency said on Sunday.

Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-Ju, gathered top scientists, including Ri Hong Sop and Hong Sung Mu, to celebrate what he called a ‘perfect success in the test of H-bomb’.

The blast, which came weeks after the country fired off two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that appeared to bring much of the mainland US into range, prompted global condemnation and calls to ramp up sanctions against the isolated nation.

The United States and its allies had been bracing for another long-range missile launch in time for the 69th anniversary of North Korea’s founding on Saturday, but no fresh provocations were spotted while the North held numerous events to mark the holiday.

Throughout last week, South Korean officials had warned the North could launch another intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of UN sanctions and amid an escalating standoff with the United States.

Washington told the UN Security Council on Friday to call a meeting on Monday to vote on a draft resolution establishing additional sanctions on North Korea for its missile and nuclear program.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said it was vital to put pressure on North Korea through additional sactions, including blocking or slowing its fuel supplies.

‘If we put firm pressure on North Korea such that it realises it cannot develop missiles, it will accept dialogue and we can progress with diplomatic efforts,’ Onodera told public broadcaster NHK on Sunday. ‘Unless we firmly apply pressure, North Korea will not change its direction.’

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