SEOUL – While the rest of the world reacted with outrage, North Koreans were swept up in a “storm of excitement” over their country’s latest nuclear test, Pyongyang’s state media reported Wednesday.
In dispatches released the day after the test, the Korean Central News Agency interviewed “ordinary citizens” who proclaimed themselves “thrilled” by the North’s display of military might.
“People in Pyongyang couldn’t hide their excitement,” KCNA said, while state TV showed cheering, clapping citizens watching the test being announced on giant TV screens in the capital.
“The more I think about it, the better I feel deep in my heart,” Kim Yong Il, 39, told KCNA. “I’d like to tell the whole world that our response will only get stronger and stronger beyond imagination in the face of hostility by our enemies.”
Missile launches and nuclear tests are usually followed by orchestrated displays of public joy on the streets of Pyongyang. Oh Il Jin, a 62-year-old college professor in the capital, called the global reaction a “ridiculous farce,” according to KCNA, and called for “merciless retaliation” against the United States.
“The U.S. keeps calling our satellite ‘a missile.’ I wish we could fire a real missile toward the U.S. northeast, so they could clearly see the difference between a satellite and a long-range missile,” he told KCNA, referring to the North’s Dec. 12 rocket launch.