South Korean officials have become more blunt about their intention to ignore the poor treatment of the North Korean people until some kind of peace deal is negotiated with the communist government in the north. South Korean public opinion supports this, although the United States does not.
February 6, 2006: In the last two years, North Korea has allowed people in some urban areas to own their own housing (usually condos.) In that time, prices have more than tripled. For some in the north, life is good, but for most, it's still a struggle.
February 3, 2006: Senior American commanders admit that they are pretty certain they, and South Korean forces, could stop any North Korean attack across the DMZ. This confidence comes from a combination of growing capability in U.S. and South Korean military forces, and declines up north.
January 28, 2006: There were several incidents of armed men trying to sneak into North Korea from China. None of them have been caught, some fired on North Korean guards, and some dropped their gear and fled back to China, leaving behind the weapons and cell phones they were carrying. Smuggling cell phones into North Korea makes sense, but weapons are more serious.