Defying international condemnation, an unrepentant North Korea fired off missiles and rhetoric as the world struggled with its continuing sabre-rattling.A huge banner made plain Pyongyang’s attitude to its critics — America being crushed by a giant hand — as the North’s rubber-stamp leadership and selected party acolytes celebrated news of today’s twin rocket launch. Kim Jong-Il may be enjoying his moment of fame, but the grandstanding could be aimed at keeping the military onside as the increasingly-frail leader prepares his succession. Complaints from world leaders were simply brushed aside in a show of perfect political choreography. Kim is believed to have suffered a stroke last year, but his grip on his country seems as tight as ever. The UN will impose tougher sanctions — Russia has said the Security Council’s very credibility is at stake — but North Korea has been under sanctions for years. Its people have nothing and its leadership nothing to lose. The world may struggle to impose its will.
Unrepentant N.Korea defies the world