23 Dec 2012

Bigger rockets wanted by Korean leader

10:23 am on 23 December 2012

State media North Korean say Kim Jong-un has ordered the development of bigger rockets.

The Korean Central News Agency reported the order was given to scientists, technicians and others involved in the launch of a satellite rocket at a banquet on Friday.

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

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

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

KCNA previously reported that Mr Kim stressed the need to put more satellites into space two days after the rocket launch on 12 December.

North Korea said the launch put a satellite in orbit for peaceful research, but critics said it amounted to a ballistic missile test.

The ABC reports Pyongyang is already under international sanctions for conducting two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009