North Korean defiance was on display on the streets of Pyongyang amid new reports the north might be preparing for another nuclear test or missile launch to mark the anniversary on Saturday of the birth of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung – the grandfather of current leader, Kim Jung Un.
The regime organized a mass turnout of residents and soldiers to mark the opening of a new government-backed building complex in the capital.
North Korean Prime Minister Pak Pong Ju said the project was a sign North Korea would not be cowed by American and international sanctions – adding the achievement had the symbolic impact of 100 thermonuclear bombs.
This event in Pyongyang was typical of the leadership of Kim Jung Un. In addition to keeping his foreign foes at bay with his nuclear and missile programs and putting his internal opposition down in a variety of ways, he tries to keep the public happy with at least limited economic growth.
Kim Jung Un, in fact, happily officiated at the ribbon-cutting for the new complex, but he no doubt has other things on his mind – like President Trump and his talk about ally China helping in the dispute, as well as that still-possible U.S. military option and reports of the Trump Administration planning more sanctions.
One resident angrily rejected those.
“We don’t really care. We’ve lived under the sanctions of the U.S. since the very first day. We don’t give a damn.”
And as for that new building complex? Despite the fact that no one lives or works there yet, and the shops looked decidedly “un-shopped,” this addition to the showcase capital seemed to please at least one person.
“Our future looks bright. Thanks to Kim Jung Un.”
By the way, those last two comments came with a government official nearby listening. What do those officials think about all the tough talk coming from the Trump Administration? If it was meant to tamp things down here, it doesn’t seem to be working. To sum up the reaction of one person we talked to: bring it on.