SEOUL - Hundreds of thousands of North Korean soldiers and civilians rallied Friday in the centre of Pyongyang for a mass celebration of the country's long-range rocket launch, state television showed.
The huge crowd in Kim Il-Sung Square, standing in neat, organised ranks, applauded speeches by senior military, party and government officials hailing the success of Wednesday's launch and praising the country's young leader, Kim Jong-Un.
"This was achieved thanks to the Great Marshall Kim Jong-Un's endless loyalty, bravery and wisdom," said Jang Chol, president of the State Academy of Sciences.
The rally came hours after state media published a statement by Kim Jong-Un ordering more satellite launches in the future, despite the global outrage and UN condemnation triggered by Wednesday's launch.
North Korea says it placed a satellite in orbit for peaceful research, but critics say the launch amounted to a banned ballistic missile test that marked a major advance for the communist state's nuclear weapons programme.
The UN Security Council held emergency talks on Wednesday after the North, already under international sanctions for nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, ignored pleas from friends and foes and went ahead with the launch.
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