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North Korea leader calls for more satellite launches

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |   Feb. 15, 2016 at 2:06 PM
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SEOUL, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un has called on North Korean scientists to "launch more satellites."

Kim made these and other remarks at a state banquet held Saturday for the team responsible for the recent launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4, an earth observation satellite, Voice of America reported.

Critics have said the North's "peaceful" satellite launch is a cover for the test of the country's long-range ballistic missile technology.

North Korean news agency KCNA reported Monday Kim said Pyongyang must shoot more satellites into space to raise the level of scientific research and for the future of a "self-reliant North Korea."

Prior to delivering his speech, Kim inspected the North's ground, naval and air forces.

North Korea's recent provocations, including its fourth nuclear test in January and the more recent satellite launch, have accelerated the passage of new sanctions against Pyongyang in the United States, Japan and South Korea.

But at the United Nations office in Geneva, U.N. Special Rapporteur Marzuki Darusman was focused on another long-term North Korea concern – the country's human rights record.

Darusman announced Monday that Kim could be investigated by the U.N. Human Rights Council in connection to crimes against humanity, and that the statement is to be delivered to North Korean delegates, Yonhap reported.

The U.N. official said even if low-ranking soldiers carried out the crimes, the top-ranking leaders who instructed them to carry out orders should ultimately be held responsible.

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