Sept. 10 (UPI) -- North Korea is claiming the regime was awarded an inventor medal and certificate from the World Intellectual Property Organization in Switzerland, for a new "anti-aging" product developed at Sinuiju Cosmetics Factory.
Korean Workers' Party paper Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday essences derived from an "elixir plant" were used to make the skin care product, quoting factory representative Kim Hye Yong.
Ryu Chol Ho, identified as the director of North Korea's invention bureau, said the North Korean product also received a gold medal at the 16th national invention expo in the country.
The award is "proof" North Korea's line of Bom Hyang Gi cosmetics is being recognized around the world for its quality, the report says.
The medal was awarded to three North Korean specialists, according to the Rodong.
The Bom Hyang Gi products were in the spotlight earlier this year, when a pro-Pyongyang paper based in Japan reported skin care is popular among men and women.
The line includes acne treatment creams, hair dying and dandruff shampoos, as well as foam cleansers for the face.
The cosmetics include traditional Korean herbs, like ginseng, in the ingredients, similar to popular South Korean cosmetics.
North Korea has said its core policy is "everything for the economy," according to U.S. analysts recently writing for 38 North.
Kim Jong Un has pledged a shift in the country's economic policies despite continued tests of new weapons.
The focus on the economy does not mean North Korea is abandoning key production centers for weapons, however.
North Korea is preparing an experimental light water reactor at Yongbyon, its biggest nuclear facility, for "eventual operation," according to analysts Siegfried Hecker, Robert Carlin and Elliot Serbin.