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China Internet users blast official stance on N. Korea
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Feb 13, 2013


'Excitement' in N. Korea over nuclear test: state media
Seoul (AFP) Feb 13, 2013 - While the rest of the world reacted with outrage, North Koreans were swept up in a "storm of excitement" over their country's latest nuclear test, state media reported Wednesday.

In a series of Korean-language dispatches released the day after the test, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) interviewed "ordinary citizens" who were "thrilled" by Pyongyang's display of military power.

"People in Pyongyang couldn't hide their excitement," KCNA said, while state television showed footage of cheering, clapping citizens watching the test being announced on giant TV screens in the capital.

"The more I think about it, the better I feel deep in my heart," Kim Yong-Il, a 39-year-old train driver in Pyongyang, told KCNA.

"I'd like to tell the whole world that our response will only get stronger and stronger beyond imagination in the face of hostility by our enemies," he was quoted as saying.

The tone and content of the remarks dove-tailed perfectly with the official line from Pyongyang, which has warned of "stronger" actions to come that would be "beyond the imagination" of South Korea or the United States.

Events such as major missile launches and nuclear tests are usually followed by orchestrated displays of public joy on the streets of the North Korean capital.

Tuesday's test was widely condemned by the international community, led by the United States and the UN Security Council, which met in emergency session the same day.

All 15 Council members backed a statement which said the North was in "grave violation" of UN resolutions and highlighted a threat made last month to take "significant action" if Pyongyang staged a fresh nuclear test.

Oh Il-Jin, a 62-year-old college professor in Pyongyang, called the global reaction a "ridiculous farce," according to KCNA, and called for "merciless retaliation" against the United States.

In particular, he criticised condemnation of the North's long-range rocket launch in December, which Pyongyang said was aimed at putting a satellite in orbit, but which most of the world saw as a disguised ballistic missile test.

"The US keeps calling our satellite 'a missile.' I wish we could fire a real missile towards the sea off the US northeast, so that they could clearly see the difference between a satellite and a long-range missile," he told KCNA.

Several of those interviewed by the state-run agency restricted their comments to praising North Korea's new young leader Kim Jong-Un, whose domestic standing will be further boosted by the apparent success of Tuesday's test.

"As soon as I heard the news, I burst into chanting "Long Live the Respected Marshal!" said Kim Kyong-Soo, a 45-year-old public servant.

Chinese social media users berated authorities Wednesday for their relatively mild response to North Korea's nuclear test, with one likening Pyongyang to a "crazy dog" that had humiliated Beijing.

The hostility towards China's defiant neighbour contrasted with the official response from Beijing -- expressing "firm opposition" but reiterating calls for calm and restraint and not mentioning any reprisals or sanctions.

Pyongyang conducted the test on Tuesday, two days after Lunar New Year, which is China's biggest annual festival, and as the public holiday continued.

"If you pursue an unjust long-term diplomatic policy, then people will dare to explode a stinkbomb at your door while you are on holiday," said Yu Jianrong, a director at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

"You are inviting your own humiliation," he added on Sina Weibo, China's popular Twitter-like service, where he has 1.5 million followers.

Beijing is Pyongyang's most important backer, providing it with trade and aid that have enabled the state to survive since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

China fears instability would bring refugees flooding across the border, or even ultimately a unified Korea with a US military presence on its doorstep.

But an online commentator using the nickname Wuyuesanren slammed some suggestions that North Korea's nuclear programme strengthened China's security, likening Beijing's policy to "keeping a crazy dog to guard the house".

Xie Wen, a former manager at Yahoo China, urged Beijing on his Weibo account at least to abandon a 1961 treaty of mutual assistance, cancel all aid and military or security cooperation and recall China's ambassador.

North Korea "simply doesn't trust China and is not willing to be inhibited by China", wrote Weibo user Zhuanshengben. "For China alone to emphasise China and North Korea's so-called friendship, this is the ultimate stupidity."

One user called Long Can supported the use of military force against North Korea, saying that "if America mobilises troops against North Korea, I will give its government my entire year's salary".

Meanwhile on Twitter -- which is blocked in China -- one of the country's most prominent dissidents, Hu Jia, called China and North Korea "the most despicable big rogue and ruthless little rogue".

He posted a recording of a phone call he said he made to the North Korean embassy in Beijing, in which he told them: "I just want to say, I am Chinese citizen Hu Jia, and I want to express my opposition to your carrying out a nuclear test."

"What?" came the response from the embassy. "Are you out of your mind?"

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