October 6; China is sending some high level officials to North Korea in an attempt to get the Stalinist government there to loosen up, make needed changes in their economy and, in general, stop being such a nuisance in the region. China is North Korea's last active ally (unless you count Cuba) and is apparently willing to use it's influence to move forward needed changes in the isolationist communist government.
A South Korean defense white paper reports that North Korean stocks of chemical weapons have been doubled to 5,000 tons over the last four years.--Stephen V Cole
October 5; The years of famine have taken their toll on North Korea's police, who apparently have been reluctant to maintain the expected level of security on the people, especially those they have come to know well. Corruption and laxity have reached the point where the army is taking over policing duties in some areas, particularly the Chinese border. Since the army is largely staffed with conscripts, it's only a matter of time before the troops become as corrupted and ineffective as the police.