Tens of thousands of North Korean soldiers and citizens have held a mass parade in Pyongyang to celebrate this week’s successful rocket launch.
After apparently putting a satellite into orbit, the credentials of new leader Kim Jong-un have been boosted, and the threat the isolated communist state poses to its opponents has grown.
The North Korean ruler will now be able to declare success in the country's long-held dream of becoming a "space powerhouse" when he commemorates a year of his rule next week.
Today soldiers, dressed in olive green and standing in serried ranks, celebrated the launch and hailed Mr Kim's "victory".
North Korea said the rocket was designed to put a weather satellite into orbit.
However, it was labelled by some as a test of technology that could one day deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting targets as far as the continental US.
"Under the great leadership of Kim Jong-un, we are carrying out a sacred task towards our last victory so as to build strong and prosperous nation," Kim Ki-nam, a politburo member from the Workers Party of Korea, told the applauding and cheering crowds that turned out in freezing temperatures.
Sharing the praise with the 29-year-old leader are three civilians - Mr Kim's uncle Jang Song-thaek and Choe Ryong-hae, the military's top political strategist, as well as Ju Kyu-chang, the 84-year-old head of the country's missile and nuclear programme.
They have helped Mr Kim exert control over the country's powerful military, which may edge the country closer to an attempt to reopen dialogue with the US.
While the US has condemned the rocket launch and called for tougher sanctions on North Korea, it offered food aid to Pyongyang as recently as February.
At that time it was just over a year since the North shelled a South Korean island, killing civilians, and sank a South Korean warship.
The rise of Mr Jang and Mr Chae especially, once ridiculed as "fake" military men by army veterans, together with the country's aging chief missile bureaucrat, could also mean the renegade state will try its hand at using what is now stronger leverage in negotiations to extract aid and concessions.