July 7 (UPI) -- A North Korean couple has been awarded an inventor's medal for their work in plant growth accelerators, according to a Japan-based newspaper.
Pro-Pyongyang paper Choson Sinbo reported Sunday North Korean scientists Kwon Sok Ho, 53, and Han Dong Suk, 52, are being recognized for their work in plant growth accelerators.
The chemical they have developed, Rakwon-410, promotes plant growth and increases crop yield for plants that grow in adverse conditions, according to the report.
The growth accelerator can be applied to fruit trees and industrial crops, the Choson Sinbo said.
The chemical can also improve root development, increase cold tolerance, help with drought resistance and increase chlorophyll content, the newspaper added.
North Korea has said a severe drought has affected crops in the country. South Korea has responded with food aid.
Pyongyang has promoted material well-being despite widespread poverty in the country.
North Korea propaganda service Sokwang stated Sunday a large-scale rose garden has been created in the country's capital.
The garden covers about one million square meters and includes half a million rose bushes, Sokwang said.
North Korea is manufacturing essential oils from the roses and producing large quantities of rose water. Beauty products, including rose salts, are also under production, according to the propaganda service.