North Korea threatened to strike the US anywhere in the world. This was the north's response to American efforts to stop the North Korean nuclear weapons program. North Korea is broke and, without shipments of oil, food and medicine from foreign nations, more people will die and, it is feared, that unrest in the north will grow to the point where the police state will fall apart. Until 1989, this was thought impossible for a communist police state. But in 1989, all the communist states of Eastern Europe simply collapsed when the people just took over and tossed out the communists. The Soviet Union went the same way in 1991. But North Korea is the most savage communist police state ever created. That however, may be the source of its collapse, for the severity of the communist control in North Korea has brought about an unimagined degree of economic decline and poverty. North Korean refugees tell of increasing apathy in the north, much of which may simply be a result of malnutrition and lack of heat. But there are also signs of increasing disobedience in the north. Spontaneous collapse is a serious possibility. South Koreans fear this, for it will mean millions of poor northerners trying to head south, and a huge bill for reconstruction, to be paid by South Korean tax payers.
A recent survey in South Korea showed 57 percent of the population wanted US armed forces to withdraw from South Korea.