N.Koreans Rounded Up to Celebrate 'H-Bomb' Test

  • By Kim Myong-song

    January 07, 2016 09:15

    North Koreans were urgently rounded up on Wednesday to hear the regime claim it had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

    One source in Sinuiju said ordinary people including students on vacation were ordered to turn up at neighborhood schools at 10 a.m. Wednesday. "People looked tense just like when they heard of the death of Kim Il-sung or Kim Jong-il," the source added.

    But they were only to watch a TV broadcast announcing the country's fourth nuclear test. The announcement came at 12:30 p.m., or noon by Pyongyang's bizarre new standard time.

    Afterwards they were expected to celebrate in the street. State-run [North] Korean Central TV tried to create a mood of uplift with live coverage of a mass rally of some 100,000 people in Pyongyang.

    North Koreans watch a news broadcast on a video screen outside a railway station in Pyongyang on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    Footage showed Kim, purportedly on Sunday, signing a document that gave the go-ahead, and announcers added he had given the order on Dec. 15.

    In South Korea, an urgent session of the National Assembly's Intelligence Committee was told that the chances that the North really tested an H-bomb are "slim" given that the yield of the test was not much different from the last nuclear test.

    Free North Korea Radio quoted a source as saying traffic near the nuclear test site in North Hamgyong Province and nearby Ryanggang Province was heavily restricted since Sunday.

    To prevent information leaks, the regime also reportedly sent jammed cell phone signals from border areas in North Hamgyong and Ryanggang provinces.

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