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Despite launch failure, North Korea celebrates military-style

Ed Flanagan/NBC News

At a massive military march in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 15, it was noted a number of times that the female soldiers actually seemed to march straighter and cleaner than the male columns. Their shrill shout to attention always caused you to focus on them, regardless of what you were doing at the time.

BEIJING – After more than a week in Pyongyang to cover what ended up being North Korea’s failed missile launch, the NBC News team that was covering the story – Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel, producer Ed Flanagan and cameraman David Lom – have left the reclusive country.

But they still had some photos to share from the various patriotic events they were taken to by their North Korean minders as part of the foreign press corps.


Ed Flanagan/ NBC News

The rows and rows of soldiers in the bleachers at a mass meeting of soldiers from North Korea's armed services in Pyongyang on April 14 was a spectacle that showed off North Korea's military might and unity behind its new leader, Kim Jong-un.

From the unveiling of massive 50-foot-tall statues of former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Il-Jong to a large military parade, to regular North Koreans snapping family photos, see some of the team’s photos of North Korean pageantry below.


Ed Flanagan/NBC News

We saw this little girl being fussed over by her father before a family photo next to a monument on Reunification Street in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 16. The girl later erupted into laughter when cameraman David Lom stuck the videocamera in her face.


David Lom/NBC News

'Festooned with medals' was how NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel described the military officers at the massive military rally in Pyongyang o April 14.

Click here to see another view of the military parade in Pyongyang on April 15 - what it looked like from outer space. It was so big that columns of soldiers could be seen from a satellite photo.


Ed Flanagan/ NBC News

At 50 feet tall and made of bronze, the two statues of North Korea's former leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-il were colossal. Bathed in the dusk light when they were unveiled in Pyongyang, North Korea on April 13, 2012, they were quite simply a sight to see.

Ed Flanagan/ NBC News

When the last military vehicle finished rolling by during the massive military parade in Pyongyang on April 15, adoring civilians pushed through to the edge of the square, cheering for new leader Kim Jong-Un and waving flower wreathes.

Ed Flanagan/ NBC News

To our surprise and pleasure, when we arrived at the banks of the Taedong River in Pyongyang for the start of the fireworks display planned to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Kim Il-Sung on April 15 we found thousands of civilians waiting for the event to start. It was a rare chance for NBC's David Lom to get shots of North Koreans from outside a bus window.

See more striking pictures from North Korea in PhotoBlog.

And a slideshow: North Korea continues celebrations after failed missile