Seldom do North Korean’s see such a colorful 3-page spread in the daily Rodong Sinmun newspaper as they woke up to on Monday.
The front page carries a picture of Kim Jong Un signing the launch order for the satellite on February 6 — something that wouldn’t be reported by North Korean media until after the launch attempt — and photos of the rocket launching.
The headline “우리 당과 국가,군대의 최고령도자 김정은동지께서지구관측위성 《광명성―４》호를 발사할데 대한 명령 하달” is announcing that he signed the launch order.
The second page, “조선민주주의인민공화국 국가우주개발국 보도지구관측위성 《광명성―４》호 성과적으로 발사,” carried the main news story, which was similar to the bulletin issued by the Korean Central News Agency.
And the third page had all of the other images released to date by state media of the launch, the scenes in the control room and the workers who made the launch happen.
The newspaper is published daily and runs to six pages. It closely follows the news North Koreans receive on their television and radio programs. The rest of the newspaper was crammed with satellite launch news, including reaction from citizens.
It can have left North Koreans in no doubt that the leadership viewed the successful launch as a very big deal.
Page four is the editorial, “최정예혁명강군으로 위용떨치는 조선인민군의 백승의 전통은 끝없이 빛날것이다.”