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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Largest Kim Jong-il Monument Unveiled in Pyongyang

RIA Novosti

18:27 13/04/2012

PYONGYANG, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - The largest North Korean monument of the country’s late leader Kim Jong-il was unveiled in the capital of Pyongyang on Friday.

A 25-meter monument that was installed near the statue to the North Korean founding leader Kim Il-sung, is a part of the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of his birth.

The ceremony that has drawn about 100,000 people to the main square in Pyongyang turned into mass festivities with a military orchestra, fireworks and thousands of balloons released into the sky.

Kim Jong-il who had headed the isolated, nuclear-armed state for 17 years, prohibited his supporters to raise the monument citing the country’s economic difficulties.

“There are money shortages in the country, and you want to spend it for luxury,” he used to say.

Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-Il’s younger son replaced his father after senior Kim died of a heart attack on December 17, 2011.

Pyongyang, which came under intense international criticism over its widely-announced rocket launch, announced on Friday that the launch had failed.

"The Earth observation satellite failed to enter its preset orbit," the North's state-run KCNA news agency said. "Scientists, technicians and experts are now looking into the cause of the failure."

South Korea said the rocket broke up into some 20 pieces and plunged into the sea. The South Korean Defense Ministry said its military was searching the area to try to recover rocket fragments, Yonhap news agency reported.

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