At a banquet on Saturday, Kim congratulated the scientists, technicians, workers and officials who contributed to the successful launch of the Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite on February 7, noting that it came at a complex time "in which the hostile forces were getting ever more frantic to suffocate" the nation, the media reported.

The leader then called for scientific research "to hit a higher target with the present great success as a springboard for greater victory and, thus, launch more working satellites" in the future.

Attendees of the event included First Lady Ri Sol-ju, President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong-nam, and top military official Hwang Pyong-so.

Pyongyang's February 7 rocket launch has been widely criticised by the international community who have widely viewed it as a disguised ballistic missile test.

The launch came just a month after North Korea conducted its fourth nuclear test.

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