Kim Jong-un seen laughing at submarine missile launch

Unusually for a world leader, Kim, the third ruler in North Korea’s communist dynasty, is frequently seen at the site of missile launches

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was seen laughing during a missile launch from a submarine off the secretive hermit state’s eastern coast on Saturday.

Yet despite his mirth, the missile appears to have failed soon after its launch, South Korea’s military say.

main (Image grab courtesy KRT)
main (Image grab courtesy KRT)

Unusually for a world leader, Kim, the third ruler in North Korea’s communist dynasty, is frequently seen at the site of missile launches, which the nuclear-armed nation performs every few months. In 2012, he was seen happily smoking a cigarette shortly after a launch.

kim-cig_2428022b
kim-cig_2428022b

While foreign observers view Kim’s iron-fisted rule as continuing the legacy of his late father, Kim Jong-il, the thirty-something leader cuts a lighter-hearted figure. He is frequently seen smiling, laughing and joking with his subjects, in contrast to his father’s habitual scowl.

The launch comes at the end of a week of sharply rising tensions on the peninsula. It is only a day after the U.S. and South Korea pledged to deploy an advanced anti-missile system to counter threats from Pyongyang, and two days after North Korea warned it was planning its toughest response to what it deemed a “declaration of war” by the United States.

That followed Washington's blacklisting of Kim for alleged human rights abuses.

Neighboring Japan, the United States, and South Korea's military condemned the missile launch as a flagrant violation of UN sanctions.

(With Reuters)

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