PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Residents of North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, expressed pride Monday about their country's launch of a new longer-range missile reportedly capable of carrying a nuclear bomb. Some outside analysts believe the Hwasong-12 missile, if proven in further tests, could help North Korea achieve its goal of developing missiles with nuclear warheads capable of reaching the U.S. mainland.
While the outside world condemns North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, inside the country, state media say the weapons are needed to defend against a perceived threat from the United States and South Korea.
The pride in North Korea contrasts with concern in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, which condemned Sunday's launch and called it a serious violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions prohibiting North Korea from conducting long-range missile tests.
Here are some quotes from residents of the two capitals:
PYONGYANG RESIDENT CHOE CHOL JIN
"I heard that our scientists and technicians have done a successful test of a Hwasong-12 rocket which was developed in our own way, by ourselves, and that makes me feel proud. Now we can make all kinds of advanced weapons, so that we can defend our homeland and the dignity of our country."
PYONGYANG RESIDENT KIM YONG NAM
"Today I heard about the successful launch of the Hwasong-12, and I think that we call our nuclear capability a treasured sword, and it's our army-first policy that makes us strong and that guarantees that our people can be happy."
SEOUL RESIDENT KIM DO-HOON, COMPANY EMPLOYEE
"It's good to keep the door for conversation open. But rather than trying too hard to have conversation, I think we need to show a stern attitude at some level."
SEOUL RESIDENT JIN HYO-SEON, PAINTER
"As South Korea's diplomatic situation matures, North Korea should also show a more mature attitude, not a childish one, and contribute to (establishing a better) diplomatic relationship."