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Kim: Satellite launch 'great event'

Dec. 22, 2012 at 7:40 PM

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- The successful launch of a satellite was a "great event" in Korean history and should be followed by more, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says.

Kim, speaking at a banquet Friday for the scientists and technical workers who carried out the launch, urged them to go ahead with "the same spirit" to put up more satellites and launch bigger carrier rockets, the South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported. The speech was broadcast by the communist North's official Korea Central News Agency.

"The successful launch of the satellite, an aggregate of latest science and technology, is a great event specially recorded in the 5,000-year-long history of the Korean nation which was provided by the wise leadership of [the late North Korean leader] Kim Jong-il and the Workers' Party of Korea's policy of attaching importance to science and technology and a great auspicious event of all people, a product of the painstaking efforts and heroic struggle of you present here," he said.

North Korea says its space program is entirely peaceful. Other governments suggest the same technology could be used to launch nuclear missiles.

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