Yet events beyond its borders mean that if the regime does not change its direction strains can only increase. Modern media, impossible to exclude entirely, mean Pyongyang no longer has a monopoly of socialisation to mould true believers. Knowledge that others elsewhere live better is widespread.
- Kim’s death will be a moment of truth; his unhealthy lifestyle is a national security risk.
- Domestic factors are paramount, but outside actors -- especially Beijing -- will inevitably become involved in any unfolding scenario.
- North Korea will become ever more reliant on China, which might at some point involve itself in local politics.