North Korea’s Kim celebrates ‘great victory’ of nuke test during banquet

North Koreans pay tribute at the monuments of North Korea's late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Saturday to mark the 69th anniversary of the North Korean government's establishment. Photo by Yonhap Newd Agency/EPA

Sept. 10 (UPI) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un boasted that his nation’s latest nuclear test was “a great victory” during a celebration banquet, state media said Sunday.

Saturday’s feast, hosted by the Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, celebrated North Korea’s sixth test conducted last week and marked the 69th anniversary of the regime’s establishment, according to the Korean Central News Agency, as reported by South Korea’s Yonhap.

On Sept. 3, Pyongyang said it conducted a hydrogen bomb test at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the country’s northeast. It said the bomb can be placed on an intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the continental United States.

The banquet in the Mokran House included ranking military officials, whom Kim praised for “most proudly and realistically carrying out the tasks.”

They included Korean People’s Army Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong So, Premier Pak Pong Ju and Choe Ryon Hae, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Kim attended the banquet with his wife, Ri Sol Ju.

The state media quoted Kim as saying: “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.”

Video footage on a large screen showed a hydrogen bomb warhead being assembled by its scientists, according to its state television network. In the video, three scientists stood next to the peanut-shaped weapon with the words “Hydrogen Bomb” written on the outside. They also looked into a dashboard-like device beside the warhead.

The party included performances and patriotic songs swearing loyalty to the party.

The state media also reported a separate banquet attended by ranking officials, including Kim Yong Nam, celebrate its regime founding’s anniversary.

Tests are often conducted important national anniversaries but no word of a future one was given.

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