Happy New Year Message
January 1, 2012 by staff
Happy New Year Message, NORTH KOREA VOWED today to stage an all-out drive for prosperity as it unites behind new leader Kim Jong Un, ushering in 2012 with promises to resolve food shortages, bolster its military and defend Kim Jong Il’s young son “unto death.”
The pledge in North Korea’s annual New Year’s message comes as the country enters a new era, with Kim Jong Un installed as supreme commander of the 1.2 million-strong military and as ruling party leader following his father’s 17 December death.
On the streets of Pyongyang, the mood was more sombre than in past New Year’s celebrations, as people gathered in large crowds to pay tribute to Kim Jong Il, who ruled the country for 17 years.
This New Year’s message didn’t include the North’s routine harsh criticism of the United States and avoided the country’s nuclear ambitions, a suggestion that Pyongyang may be willing to continue talks with Washington to win food aid.
This year is a crucial one for North Korea as it tries to build a “great, prosperous and powerful nation” befitting the April 2012 centenary of the birth of national founder Kim Il Sung, the new leader’s grandfather.
“Glorify this year 2012 as a year of proud victory, a year when an era of prosperity is unfolding,” said the New Year’s message, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
The whole party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong Un unto death.
In Pyongyang, the day was cold, snowy and gray, with splashes of bright color provided by flags, lanterns and banners reading “Happy New Near” that decorated the streets. The celebration, however, coming just three days after the official mourning period for Kim Jong Il ended, was muted, unlike past years when cheerful people in their best holiday clothes thronged the streets.
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