Dude, Where's My Korean War?
Li'l Kim is singing the blues in his Pyongyang pleasure bunker. First, nobody coughed up the food & fuel aid he was expecting in exchange for not nuking Seoul. Now, things are even worse:
The last six weeks have made it clear to the North Korean leadership that they have lost control of information. News of how the outside world is reacting to all the threats, and how those threats look to the rest of the world, is quickly getting to most North Koreans. The secret police (who monitor public attitudes) are reporting that people have a low opinion of their government and the current threats of war have not changed that. The secret police also point out that a lot of North Korean propaganda, especially the stuff insisting that North Koreans have it better than people of other countries (like China, South Korea, and Japan) is considered a bad joke by most North Koreans, and a growing number of them are openly mocking the mandatory lectures and demonstrations they must attend. This is ominous, the fact that the people are losing their fear of retaliation. This is what happened in Eastern Europe in 1989, when all the communist governments there collapsed in a few months. North Korean leaders studied that event carefully and concluded that they had their people under control, that the people still feared their leaders. The decline in fear is scary news indeed because North Korea is basically a police state and without a lot of fear, that sort of government does not work.
When the Kim Dynasty ends -- soon -- it won't end well. Gorbachev wisely declined to send in the tanks in 1989, but Jong-un likely has no such compunctions. The South can't move in, because that would be anathema to Beijing. So Beijing is someday going to get stuck with 22 million screaming, starving babies.
Serves 'em right.