Missiles and music: For Kim Jong Un, they go together


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TOKYO (AP) — North Korea's successful intercontinental ballistic missile launch is now music to its leader's ears — quite literally.

Kim Jong Un was feted at a concert replete with pop music and thunderous applause marking last week's successful launch of his country's first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Among the numbers performed were "Song of Hwasong Rocket" and "Make Others Envy Us," the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported.

Leading the bill at the concert was the Moranbong Band, an all-female ensemble that was hand-picked by Kim and serves as something of the "soft" face of his regime.

Pyongyang has been the scene of a slew of special events to mark the July 4 launch of Hwasong-14, which is believed to be capable of reaching most of Alaska and possibly farther.

The launch is being treated as a major national milestone in North Korea, with the government and media touting it as a technological breakthrough few other nations have achieved.

The concert, which took place on Sunday before a packed crowd, many in uniform, also featured dancing.

Clips of the concert shown on North Korean television on Monday showed the crowd repeatedly cheering and applauding for Kim.

Along with the Moranbong Band, the concert had North Korea's other top headliners — a similar pop ensemble called the Chongbong Band, the uniformed State Merited Chorus and the Wangjaesan Art Troupe.

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