North Koreans showed mixed reactions after Pyongyang announced that it had successfully put a satellite into orbit.
While most North Koreans were said to have reveled, defectors voiced their frustrations over the rocket launch, claiming the government could have better spent the money in solving the food crisis and power shortage that has grappled the isolated state.
A North Korean woman who defected to China five years ago, leaving her parents behind, said the launch would do nothing to change the people’s lives, Asahi Shimbun reports.
“I strongly oppose the launch, which cost a lot of money,” she said. “I’ve been living, thinking of my parents every day. I don’t want a launch. I want the country to make the people prosperous soon,” she said.
“If it has enough money to carry out the launch, I hope the country will provide more food to the people,” another defector said.
North Korean merchants supposedly lauded the success of the launch, highlighting the “high levels of science and technology” the country possesses.
“The launch has displayed our nation’s high levels of science and technology to the United States and other Western powers, and will help establish equal relationships,” state media quoted one scientist as saying. “Sanctions would be a burden, but our nation is not afraid of them. That is because the nation has been developing and people carry pride in their hearts”.