June 2 (UPI) -- North Korea says it is cultivating oversized "superior peaches" and hailed the development in its agriculture as a success on Sunday.
Kye Ryong Il, head of North Korea's pomology research institute at the state's agricultural research center, said the peaches can withstand cold weather and grow to weigh as heavy as one-and-a-half pounds.
The peaches, named "Sukchon Peach No. 3," can tolerate temperatures as low as minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit. Each fruit can range anywhere between 1.1 and 1.5 pounds in weight, according to the North Korean institute.
Sukchon Peach No. 3 is one of more than 40 types of "superior" fruit species that have been cultivated by the state, propaganda service Maeari reported.
Popular fruits, including apples, pears, apricots and persimmons have been cultivated using new techniques, state propaganda said.
"They are less managed than other forms of fruit cultivation, but are more profitable," Kye said.
North Korea also said 17 peach varieties are being cultivated, and that they share the following qualities: shorter growing periods, high harvest yields, strong tolerance to disease, and tolerance of cold temperatures.
North Korea said the fruits could be grown "anywhere."
Other North Korean agencies are claiming the food situation in the country is showing signs of improvement.
The Songdowon Fisheries Office in Wonsan, facing the East Sea, said it has released 100,000 baby flounder into the ocean.
Initially 10,000 flounder were released into the sea in mid-March, the office said.
North Korea claimed fishermen and researchers "worked together" to figure out how to successfully release cultivated fish into the sea.
Other plans include incubating then releasing baby sea cucumbers, according to the fisheries office.