North Korea obtained 30 used MiG-21s from Kazakhstan and (contrary to US intelligence estimates) plans to fly them (replacing older worn-out MiG-21s) rather than use them for spare parts.--Stephen V Cole
August 30; Russia has a trade debt of $1.8 billion with South Korea and is proposing to provide advanced military technology to settle the debt. While South Korea is not interested in buying Russian weapons, some of their technologies are world class. South Korea manufactures many of its own weapons and acquiring advanced technology from Russia would enable the South Koreans to create advanced weapons systems for their own use and export. Good Friends, a Buddhist food aid organization, after interviewing 2,700 of 300,000 North Korean "food refugees" in China, claims that the number of famine dead in North Korea since 1995 is 3.5 million.
August 29; The U.S. has offered North Korea a bribe (for want of a better term) to not conduct their missile test. The North Koreans indicate they are willing to accept said bribe, but wish to haggle over the amount first.
August 27; South Korean population experts estimate that some 270,000 North Koreans have died from famine related causes in the past four years. North Korea admits to 220,000 dead from the famine, but other estimates put the toll as high as three million. Millions of North Koreans have had their health permanently degraded by the effects of the famine.