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[December 13, 2012]
DPRK top leader commands satellite launch on-scene: report
PYONGYANG, Dec 13, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), personally commanded Wednesday's satellite launch at the Pyongyang General Satellite Control Command Center and observed the whole launching process, the official news agency KCNA reported earlier Friday.
Kim issued the final written order on the launch of Kwangmyongsong-3 satellite to the Korean Committee of Space Technology at 8 am Wednesday, gave the launch order at the Command Center at 9 am and observed whole launching process, said the KCNA.
Kim said the successful launch of the satellite "served as an occasion showed at home and abroad the unshakable stand of the DPRK to exercise its legitimate right of using space for peaceful purposes and developing the country's science, technology and economy." He spoke highly of the ardent loyalty and patriotic devotion made by scientists and technicians, pledging to continue launching satellites in the future and bring about a fresh turn in scientific researches.
The "Juche (self-reliant) Satellite", developed by the country' s own strength and technology, has consolidated DPRK's status as a space power, said Kim, adding the proud victory has shown the country's high scientific level in spite of disadvantageous winter weather.
Kim, first secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), first chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC) of the DPRK, had been accompanied by Jang Song Thaek, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK and vice- chairman of the NDC, and Pak To Chun, member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the WPK Central Committee.
According to the KCNA, the second version of Kwangmyongsong-3 was launched by an Unha-3 carrier rocket at 9:49 a.m. local time ( 0049 GMT) Wednesday from the Sohae Space Center in Cholsan County, North Phyongan Province, and entered the preset orbit.
This was the DPRK's second satellite launch after Kim took power. The previous one in April ended in failure.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of the country's late leader Kim Il Sung, and Dec. 17 marks the first anniversary of the death of the DPRK's previous leader, Kim Jong Il.
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