- shown in video footage smuggled out of the country, which included a voice-over opining:
In western terms these may seem mild protests, but the gravity of the offences for the perpetrators, if caught, is likely to be of the most extreme nature. Having lived in a number of pretty autocratic countries, I can perhaps understand a little better than many others just what these 'mild' protests may cost the brave souls involved (after all, in one such country a friend spent 13 years in a 're-education' camp, suffering permanent physical damage in the process, for having offended the regime which controlled his country, whilst another friend and former colleague emerged from his 'questionning' by the authorities with both emotional and physical impairment). It is possible that, even now, investigations are being conducted in the city where it happened, partly as a result of the publicity given to the reports in South Korea and in the wider world.
Some other dictatorial regimes have collapsed pretty rapidly once protests within those countries began to become frequent (East Germany and Romania, for example) and it is not impossible that this might happen in North Korea, but I fear their emergence from their particular brand of socialist hell may be much more prolonged and costly for those who contribute to it happening. And it may never happen, or at least not for a long time.
(By the way, I noticed this report about a week ago in the BBC website, about the North Korean regime's views on male grooming - this exemplifies, in a minor way, just what living under the gaze of 'Big Brother' is all about.)