Despite all the shouting and threats from North Korea, work proceeds on rebuilding the road and rail links across the DMZ. Both nations are even allowing military officers to go to the other side to inspect progress, something that has not happened in over half a century. The north needs food and other aid, and needs it fast, if it wants to avoid further starvation and possible unrest.
The economic and political situation in North Korea is getting worse by the month. The health care system is near collapse and corruption in the government and military is becoming more common and more open. So many officials are stealing that there is increasing reluctance to arrest and prosecute officials diverting food, fuel and other resources for personal use. Because of economic reforms last year, there are now legal markets where stolen goods can be sold. But the prices are too high for most of the population. Because of these thefts, soldiers and civilians slip even further towards death by starvation. People with money or the proper travel papers are increasingly getting out of the country and ending up providing interesting information to South Korean, American and Chinese intelligence officials. North Korea has apparently used money and other aid to increase its weapons development and production. Perhaps because of this, South Korea is moving away from it's "Sunshine Policy" of trying to prop up the North Korean police state so a collapse in the north did not force the south to provide even larger amounts of aid.