You are only defeated if you accept defeat.
I have watched the N Korean put up with S Korea and America for decades. N Korean govt has done everything a mad dictators do their country, silencing critics, kill any and every traitor. Yet it has continued to survive for all this time and it has less to do with the support from China, which there is, but rather the America’s failed policy based on wishful thinking rather than actual ground realities when they intervened.
N Korea started as a child of the Soviets rather then Chinese. Chinese govt tried all it could to avoid war in its neighbour but their efforts failed because of American fear of socialism spreading. Yet socialism is bankrupt something Ludwig von Mises predicted in his book Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth initially published in 1920 predicting why socialist states will collapse.
Currently the best thing the world can do for N Korea is to push N Korea to become more capitalist and more freedom oriented and allow the local Koreans to move forward, but there is a small chance that will happen as politicians spend all the time worrying about their fragile ego rather than the poor guy dying the price to make him a legacy.