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Date TimeSeptember 10, 2017
VoiceNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un hosted a huge 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.

News of the celebration comes as the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said in an interview published Sunday the showdown over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programme was the world’s worst crisis “in years”.

South Korea 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.
North Koreas Kim Jong-un hosts huge celebration after nuclear test


Instead, amid numerous events in the country, Kim threw a banquet topped with an art performance and a photo session with the leader himself, the official agency KCNA said. KCNA did not specify when the banquet had been held, but analysts said it had likely been on Saturday.


Photos released on Sunday by KCNA showed the young leader breaking into a broad smile at the people’s theatre in Pyongyang with two prominent scientists: Ri Hong-sop, head of North Korea’s nuclear weapons institute, and Hong Sung-mu, deputy director of the munitions industry department. Ri is a former director of the Yongbyon nuclear research centre, North Korea’s main nuclear facility north of Pyongyang, where Hong also worked as a chief engineer.
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North Korea had said the latest test was an advanced hydrogen bomb. There was no independent confirmation but some western experts said there was enough strong evidence to suggest the reclusive state has either developed a hydrogen bomb or was getting very close.

KCNA said on Sunday the scientists and technicians “brought the great auspicious event in national history, an extra-large event through the perfect success in the test of H-bomb”. Kim praised the developers in his own remarks as “taking the lead” in attaining the “final goal of completing the state nuclear force” in line with his parallel pursuit of nuclear and economic development.

“The recent test of the H-bomb is the great victory won by the Korean people at the cost of their blood while tightening their belts in the arduous period,” Kim was quoted as saying.

Ri and Hong’s roles have also been noted overseas, prompting the UN, the US and South Korea to blacklist them.

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