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Workers on nuclear test to have ‘joyful' time in North Korean capital

Rows of North Korean children stand and salute at a sports arena in Pyongyang for a national meeting of the Children’s Union on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013. North Koreans commemorated on Saturday what would have been the 71th birthday of leader Kim Jong-il who died on December 17, 2011.

Jon Chol Jin/AP

North Korea is rewarding the scientists and workers behind its recent nuclear test with a fun-packed visit to Pyongyang to enjoy "the greatest privileges," state media said Wednesday.

Scientists, technicians, workers and officials behind the Feb. 12 test will visit the capital as the guests of the ruling Workers' Party, the Korean Central News Agency said.

"They will spend significant days in Pyongyang, enjoying the greatest privileges and preferential treatment," KCNA said, promising a "joyful and delightful time" at the city's open-air ice rink and roller skating centre.

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The group will also visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, which holds the embalmed bodies of North Korea's founder, Kim Il-sung, and his son and former leader, Kim Jong-il.

North Korea's third nuclear test was its most powerful to date, with Pyongyang claiming a breakthrough with a "miniaturized" device.

While the outside world was united in condemnation, the test triggered days of orchestrated celebrations and mass rallies in North Korea.

The test followed a widely criticized long-range rocket launch in December, which the UN Security Council saw as a disguised ballistic missile test.

The North's current leader, Kim Jong-un, awarded state medals and other benefits to the hundreds of scientists who worked on the rocket launch.

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