Pyongyang announced earlier today that the man who will become the authoritarian regime's first astronaut is none other than the director of the Friday 13th failure at the West Sea Satellite Launch Site, Jang Myong-jin, whose age remains a state secret. The North Korean government says he has stepped down from his post with immediate effect to concentrate on his rigorous astronaut training.
To prove the toughness and self-reliance of the North Korean people, officials in Pyongyang say the former director will not travel into space protected by a thick metal shell like cowardly American astronauts, but would instead be launched into orbit on top of the next Unha-3 rocket, only using a tight harness for safety reasons to ensure he doesn't fall off.
While the North says this is the first time they will put one of their citizens into orbit, they have denied that Jang Myong-jin will have the honor of being North Korea's first astronaut, since they claim to have sent astronauts to land on the Moon in 1971, one year before South Korea's first astronauts reached Earth's orbiting satellite.
North Korea's claims have been widely discredited, unlike South Korea's Moon-landing which was extensively documented in 1972 and even led to the creation of a Korean Moon-based religion which has since swept the world.
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