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Rocket scientists hailed in North Korean parade

People cheer as missile developers arrive in Pyongyang, North Korea.

North Korea has celebrated the scientists and technicians behind its latest missile launch with a parade on the streets of Pyongyang, its state news agency reports.

Thousands of citizens gathered on Thursday (local time) to cheer on the scientists over the successful launch of Hwasong 12, the medium-range missile fired on Sunday (local time), according to text and photographs published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"Streets of the capital city of Pyongyang were full of festive atmosphere to greet the scientists of national defence," the report reads.

Members of the public cheer as North Korean missile developers go by.

Adults, students and children cheered at a convoy of buses carrying the scientists to Mansu Hill, where they offered flowers to the statues of former leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il before being greeted by the vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, Ri Man-gon.

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North Korea on Sunday (local time) launched the Hwasong-12, the projectile that has shown the best performance so far aside from its space rockets, in what the international community suspects to have been a covert missiles test.


The long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 (Mars-12) is launched during a test in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on May 15, 2017.

The missile travelled almost 800 kilometres and may have exceeded 4000 km if it had been launched at a more perpendicular angle, according to experts.

This data underlines the progress made by Pyongyang in its efforts to develop an intercontinental nuclear missile in the future that can reach the United States.

This launch is the latest in a long list of weapons tests carried out by the regime of Kim Jong-un, particularly since last year.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is thrilled at the success of the missile launch.

The tests have escalated tensions on the peninsula, and have been met with a hardening of rhetoric from Washington following Donald Trump's election as US president.