International condemnation hasn't put North Korea off celebrating its successful rocket launch on Wednesday. Pyongyang believes the launch is evidence that North Korea is a world power.
Chinese nuclear experts reportedly believe North Korea may already have a nuclear arsenal of 20 warheads. They also claim Pyongyang has the uranium enrichment capacity to double that figure by 2016, a US newspaper says.
One important issue on the agenda for Japanese PM Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington will be increased US-Japanese military cooperation. Japan and the USA are agreed - but there are some reservations in Asia.
In his latest attempt at forging an energetic image, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has scaled his country's highest summit. The Paektu Mountain is considered to be sacred by both North and South Koreans.
Despite international sanctions, North Korea is on the verge of rapidly increasing its nuclear arsenal over the next five years, adding to regional concerns, as Joel Wit, founder of US think tank 38 North, tells DW.