North Korea on Sunday test-fired what analysts say was its longest-range rocket yet as it accelerates efforts to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the continental United States.
Thousands of men in their Sunday best and women in colourful traditional dress lined the streets of Pyongyang to give the scientists and workers behind North Korea's latest missile test a hero's welcome, state media reported Friday.
"People's enthusiastic welcome for defence science warriors," ran a front-page headline in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper, the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers' Party, alongside pictures of the developers of what appears to be its longest-range ballistic missile.
The paper praised those responsible for the Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile for showing the world "the strength of the powerful self-reliant nuclear state".
CONVOY OF BUSES
Photos showed hundreds of developers wearing military garb saluting giant statues of late leaders Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il that dominate the centre of the capital.
Others showed residents waving red flags and artificial flowers as they turned out to greet a convoy of buses carrying the developers.
"Streets of the capital city of Pyongyang were full of festive atmosphere to greet the scientists of national defence," the official Korean Central News Agency said.