While North Korea is liberalizing its economy, following Chinese advice, it still has millions of people working for secret police and military programs that produce nothing of economic value. These people are the power base of communist rule and see danger in economic reform and disaster in political reform. One of the major military programs was the nuclear weapons effort. North Korea agreed in 1994 to suspend the nuclear program in return for economic aid. Apparently they never intended to abide by this agreement, apparently in order to avoid angering North Koreas power military-industrial faction. Now this deceit is out in the open. The US is allowing South Korea and Japan to take the lead in further negotiations with the North. This in spite of North Korean demands that any new deals must be made directly between North Korea and the United States, not American "puppets" like South Korea and Japan. Meanwhile, things are slowly coming apart in the north. The loyalty of the conscript army is in doubt and years of starvation and growing privation are fueling more unrest at the grass roots level. Something has to give in the north, and it will be sooner rather than later.