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'Hero's welcome' for N Korea missile developers

It has caused controversy around the world, but in North Korea the developers of its latest missile have reportedly been given a hero’s welcome on their return.

According to state media thousands of people took to the streets of Pyongyang in colourful and traditional clothes, to welcome back the scientists and workers behind the test at the weekend.

North Korea claims the missile is a new medium-long range ballistic rocket capable of carrying a heavy nuclear warhead.

Kim Jong Un watches latest missile launch
Image:Kim Jong Un watches latest missile launch

The launch early on Sunday took place at a region named Kusong, where the North previously test-launched an intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly hugged rocket research officials after witnessing the test, saying they “worked hard to achieve a great thing”.

Kim Jong Un watches latest missile launch
Image:The test at the weekend came after a recent launch which failed

US President Donald Trump has called for “far stronger sanctions” on North Korea and warned last month that a “major, major conflict” with Pyongyang was possible.

However, he has also said he is open to talks with Mr Kim.

The weekend launch was the first since a new liberal president took office in South Korea. Moon Jae-in has said dialogue and pressure must be used to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and stop the North’s weapons pursuit.

Moon Jae-In
Image:South Korean president Moon Jae-in called an emergency national security meeting after the launch

While North Korea regularly tests shorter range missiles, it is also working to master the technology needed to field nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the US mainland.

A previous missile launch ended in failure just minutes into flight.

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