N. Korean leader pushes for more satellite launches

FILE PICTURE: This photo taken on December 27, 2014 and released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 29 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) during an awards ceremony for officials and logistics personnel in the fishery field of the Korean People's Army at an undisclosed location. REPUBLIC OF KOREA OUT AFP PHOTO / KCNA via KNS THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PHOTO IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY AFP. ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

North Korea sparked international anger last week with the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has promised to put more satellites in space, even as the international community prepares to punish his regime over a long-range rocket launch just last week.

At a banquet to congratulate the scientists, technicians and officials who contributed to the February 7 launch, Kim noted that the mission had come at “a complex time when hostile forces are more bloody-eyed than ever to strangle” the North, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Monday.

North Korea sparked international anger last week with the launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite, which came just a month after its fourth nuclear test.

The launch, which most in the international community viewed as a disguised ballistic missile test, violated multiple UN resolutions banning the nuclear-armed country from the use of ballistic technology.

Kim said the success of the launch was made possible by the team’s “blood-sealed trust” in the ruling party and added that the scientists’ sweat had provided the rocket’s main fuel.

He urged the gathering to use the success as a springboard “to achieve higher targets and thus launch more working satellites,” KCNA said.

The United States, along with Asian allies South Korean and Japan, are spearheading efforts at the UN Security Council for a strong resolution that will impose harsh sanctions on Pyongyang over the recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

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