North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has praised scientists involved in the country’s recent rocket launch that he said struck a “telling blow” to enemies and ordered them to press ahead with more launches, state media reported Monday. Earlier this month, North Korea ignored repeated international warnings and launched what it said was an Earth observation satellite aboard a rocket. Washington, Seoul and other view the launch as a prohibited test of missile technology and are pushing hard to have Pyongyang slapped with strong sanctions.
The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said the ruling Workers’ Party on Saturday gave a banquet in honor of scientists, officials and others who it said contributed to the Feb. 7 rocket launch. Kim and his top deputies were present. In a speech, Kim said the launch gave confidence and courage to his people and dealt a “telling blow to the enemies seeking to block the advance of our country,” KCNA said, in an apparent reference to Seoul and Washington. READ MORE