The US, South Korea and Japan has still not agreed on a common strategy to deal with North Korea's extortion demands. But they are cracking down on illegal criminal activities (drugs, counterfeiting, etc) that have provided North Korea with over a billion dollars a year in foreign currency. At the same time, there has been no increase in aid shipments to North Korea. So it's a matter of who will blink first. North Korea continues to suffer from economic collapse, starvation and growing lack of discipline and unrest. The problem is that South Korea does not want to see the dictatorship in the north completely collapse, but there is no longer much public support for propping it up because of the north's blatant nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, there is no proof that the north has actually built any nuclear weapons, much less tested them or miniaturized those bombs (a difficult task) to fit in the warheads of their long range rockets. Something's got to give, and probably will by the end of the year, when food runs out and Winter arrives.