SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is moving to grow its nanotech industry and produce high-tech products, Pyongyang's state media reported Friday.
The Rodong Sinmun newspaper, an organ of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said in an article that the country's nanotech center that was recently built has made advances in medicine, energy, environmental conservation, light industry and farming.
Nanotechnology involves controlling matter on a molecular scale, leading to the creation of materials of high commercial value and with wide-ranging benefits.
The newspaper monitored in Seoul said the nanotech center, built under the guidance of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has played a key part in developing the sector. It added that roughly 1,000 nano products and prototypes were on display at the 10th nano science exhibition that opened on Tuesday.
North Korean media started mentioning the nanotech center in April, although no detail was made public on when it was established.
It said the country's technicians from universities and laboratories have been able to develop agricultural sterilizers, growth accelerators, air cleaners and shoes.
The daily also said the total number of products showcased at the exhibit represents a 10-fold increase from just four years ago, highlighting the progress made by the country in the next-generation technology.
The latest news article follows another report by the North's Korean Central News Agency that claimed in May that many practical products to cope with athlete's foot have reached consumers in the communist country.
In June, the Choson Sinbo, a Japan-based pro-Pyongyang newspaper, said an alcoholic beverage made using nano technology enjoyed popularity in Pyongyang.
Related to the media reports, Lim Eul-chul, a research professor at Kyungnam University and North Korea expert, said emphasis on high-tech industries has become more pronounced since Kim's ascension to power in late 2011.
He speculated that the leader may be pushing for technological advances to bolster economic growth and stimulate positive social change.
(3rd LD) S. Korea to send 50,000 tons of rice to N. Korea via WFP
(3rd LD) Xi arrives in Pyongyang for summit with Kim
(LEAD) Xi to visit N. Korea amid trade tensions with U.S.
Moon declares 'renaissance vision' for S. Korea's manufacturing industry
(2nd LD) S. Korea proposes compensating forced labor victims through company funds; Japan rejects it