Three out of every four factories are out of production. Starvation is again a problem - with many children being sent home midday - simply due to the fact that the children are in pain from lack of food - and unable to concentrate.
As if this were not enough, North Korea radically devalued its currency last november. The currency devaluation move took any existing cash that anyone had saved up in North Korea - and turned it into cash value of only 2% of what it had been before. In one single stroke, the North Korean Government wiped out the savings of an entire country.
The official word from the North Koreans - broadcast on the only radios that are for sale in this nation - sets that are soldered to receive only government and military radio stations - is that the sinking of the South Korean warship was a move that was orchestrated by the South Koreans and then blamed on the North. They have also laid the blame for their currency devaluation at the feet of South Korea. The reality is far different. The South Koreans were torpedoed by a North Korean submarine.
North Korea is preparing for war. Their already fragile economy is now hit by a 333 Million dollar trade embargo. North Korea likes to pretend that they are self sustaining. The reality is far different. Their self imposed blackouts, starvation, and general sense of stalinism has trapped their country into a spiral of descent out of which there are only one of two possible points of egress: revolution, or war.
Since the Military keeps the population so weak that they cannot effectively wage a revolution - the likelihood of this occuring is distant. There are military checkpoints all over the country, an absolute ban on many essential items - and the people are starving. The more likely path is that of war.