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North Korea touts nuclear weapons on anti-imperialist anniversary

By Elizabeth Shim
North Korea commemorated a Workers’ Party anniversary on Monday with an article praising Kim Jong Un's achievements, including the launch of an earth observation satellite in February. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun
North Korea commemorated a Workers’ Party anniversary on Monday with an article praising Kim Jong Un's achievements, including the launch of an earth observation satellite in February. File Photo by Rodong Sinmun

SEOUL, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- North Korea celebrated the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Down-with-Imperialism Union and stated its nuclear weapons program had reached a "remarkably high" point in its development.

On Monday, the front page of Worker's Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun listed a number of Kim Jong Un's achievements for a "self-reliant North Korea," including test of the country's "first hydrogen bomb," the launch of an earth observation satellite and the "successful" test launch of a midrange ballistic missile, the Hwasong-10.

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"The national strength of our fatherland has gained the admiration of the entire world in the last few months, and has climbed to a remarkably high point," Pyongyang stated, while leaving unmentioned international condemnation of the country's weapons tests.

According to North Korea's account, Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, established the Down-with-Imperialism Union on Oct. 17, 1926, when he was 14 years old.

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The organization allegedly led an underground resistance movement in the Chinese territory of Manchuria.

A national convention was held at Pyongyang's People's Palace of Culture on Sunday to observe the anniversary, according to North Korea's KCNA, but Kim Jong Un was not mentioned in the list of attendees.

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In a separate statement on Monday, North Korean propaganda outlet Maeari slammed the United States and South Korea for spurring its nuclear weapons development and blamed President George W. Bush for the decision.

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"At one time the North Korean people would call former U.S. President [Bush] names like 'fool' and a 'half-wit'... meaning Bush set a historical precedent by pushing North Korea toward nuclear power status at a time when all on the Korean peninsula wanted to live in a nuclear-free country."

The propaganda outlet said Bush "converted the [U.S.-North Korean] Agreed Framework into a piece of tissue and designated North Korea as part of an axis of evil, while openly declaring a nuclear pre-emptive strike," leaving unmentioned the security guarantee Washington gave Pyongyang during the president's term in office.

In the statement, North Korea also blamed President Barack Obama for continuing the Bush policy and "further strengthening" Pyongyang's nuclear deterrent.

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