North Korea switched back to extortion mode, threatening to resume missile testing unless the United States reached a permanent agreement with them. The North Koreans say they fear that the promised nuclear power plants will not be ready by 2003 and there is no agreement to supply them with fuel oil beyond that date. Basically, the North Koreans want more money. They are also cracking the whip at the new US president, to see what they are dealing with. Meanwhile, the northern economy and infrastructure continue to decline. Although the northerners say their economy is recovering, there are no tangible signs that this is happening. Hunger and declining medical care continue to be seen.