I still don't get the propensity to call North Korea "communist." They literally have more in common with Japanese fascism than they do Marxism-Leninism, and they never commanded the trust of other socialist states because they knew what Kim Il-Sung was actually going for. I think Mao was more supportive of Saloth Sar/Pol Pot than he was Kim Il-Sung (before he heard what was going on in Cambodia). I mean, they were giving the Khmer Rouge instructions on how to build communism— build socialism first, create an industrial proletariat, etc.— and the Cambodians ignored them. The Chinese and Russians didn't even bother with the North Koreans, which you'd think would be a red flag.
It also makes sense if you look further back into Korean history. They didn't start opposing Western imperialism in 1948— they'd been called the 'Hermit Kingdom' and opponents of imperial hegemony since the 1600s, since the Joseon days. They've never been internationally minded— trying to make them so fundamentally misunderstands their culture. Their culture doesn't change because they're following a new book; at least, not unless they've been following that book for many generations. It's like when Britain, Russia/USSR/ and America tried invading Afghanistan— none of us bothered to understand Afghani culture because we assume that they'll roll over for us and our ideals with enough pressure, but that's just not the way they are. Failing to understand someone else's culture, especially attempting to apply a universal standard towards it, will almost always result in misunderstanding.
That's not different for North Korea. The South is only so different because it's a US puppet, and even then it's not like they're that different from the North. We're just told they're different, and we know that they have a freer economy and shinier buildings. Yet they were under a repressive fascist dictatorship for decades, then elected the daughter of the dictator that ruled them and they deposed, and it turned out that she was being controlled by a bunch of billionaire shamans so they had to depose her as well, and it's not like there was a revolution that undid the whole network that made this possible. Not to mention a handful of megacorps literally control the country. They, too, keep elements of Japanese imperialism in their culture (despite demanding apology from Japan for their WWII atrocities), on top of already having an isolationist and xenophobic culture.
I dunno, it just doesn't seem like anyone's got the full story on either of the Koreas and completely ignoring their history in lieu of what they claim to be now is part of the problem.