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N Korea leader urges development of bigger rockets

Pyongyang already sparked international condemnation with a long-range rocket launch

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I / Seoul December 22, 2012, 15:32 IST

North Korean leader has ordered the development of bigger rockets, state media said today, after Pyongyang sparked international condemnation with a launch.

He gave the order to scientists, technicians and others involved in this month's launch at a banquet yesterday, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

"You should develop and launch a variety of more working satellites, including communications satellite, and carrier rockets of bigger capacity," Kim was quoted as saying by KCNA.

"The launch... Was a grand declaration that demonstrated the 's (North Korea's) independent and legitimate right to use space for peaceful purposes before the world," he said.

He added that the rocket, the satellite and monitoring devices were "indigenously produced, 100 per cent".   

Kim had already stressed the need to put more satellites into space two days after the December 12 launch, KCNA reported at the time.

North Korea says the launch put a satellite in orbit for peaceful research, but critics say it amounted to a banned ballistic missile test that marked a major advance for the communist state's nuclear weapons programme.    

It sparked international condemnation, including from the United Nations, although the North's main ally China is said by diplomats to be resisting US-led efforts to order new sanctions against Pyongyang at the .

Pyongyang is already under international sanctions for conducting two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, which both came after long-range rocket launches.

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