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A short distance away, a foreigner observed the scene.
He had been working in North Korea for several years, but on this evening, he says, he felt like more of a stranger than ever before.
Mothers with children, students, office workers, construction crews -- thousands climbed the wide steps up to the floodlit statue in Pyongyang, many holding white chrysanthemums in their hands.
Some of the mourners had come straight from their jobs at collectives, and they were still carrying small backpacks and bags as they walked up the steps.
[North Korea conducts fifth nuclear test, claims it has made warheads with ‘higher strike power’] Under Kim’s leadership, North Korea has also sharply accelerated the pace of missile testing, with almost two dozen launches this year alone.
While many of this year’s tests have not been successful and there are still many unknowns about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, there have still been noticeable — and concerning — improvements.
The Washington Post's Anna Fifield reports on North Korea's fifth nuclear test and what it means for the region and one of Kim Jong Un's few remaining allies, China.
(Jason Aldag, Anna Fifield/The Washington Post)North Korea is touting technological progress in its nuclear program, saying after a nuclear test Friday that it can now produce “smaller, lighter and diversified nuclear warheads of higher strike power.” But it is also making strides in its missile program, analysts say — advances that could enable it to outsmart missile defense systems, which could make the missiles more attractive to potential customers.
The rockets flew about 600 miles — putting Hangzhou within range.