North Korea has played a strong defence from a position of weakness depending upon threats, bluster and the covert deployment of weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation to obtain aid from the West. Without such assistance, it is not clear that the existing regime: a revolutionary regime ossifying into a hereditary kleptocracy would have survived without reform. (One looks to the red princelings of its big brother, China, to see how one party states follow this path, even without personality cults).
North Korea has recently conducted another nuclear test and stated that it has a ballistic missile almost ready for intercontinental attacks. The new leader, Kim Jong Un, has proved even more aggressive than his father (who is rumoured to have died in a fit of angry apoplexy). The rhetoric, the grooves, the moves have become shriller as the regime ups the ante.
This becomes a concern since it mirrors an increasingly assertive China. Foreign policy is partially restructured by the People's Liberation Army, which appears to wag the Communist party, not vice versa. Is it too far-fetched to think that North Korea's own repudiation of the armistice and bellicose threats to attack the US mirror those of its patron?
With treaty conditions, Chinese assertions, increased tensions on the Korean peninsula and the freedom of manoevre for radicals and hotheads to aggressively threaten the status quo, is it not a concern that war could break out in the Far East? Will the Glosters again defend Imjin?