I think two factors are important. Firstly, the days of information blackout are almost certainly over. There have been a number of sources who indicated that South Korean, Chinese, and American media are all available (in small quantities) in the North, with the inevitable result that the comparative wealth of South Korea and even China may be common knowledge. Combine this with various civil society changes (like the growth of Christianity there —though the numbers for that are presumably inflated — or the increasing numbers of illegal markets) and we have a population whose cooperation with the government comes through massive coercion and the lack of other sources of leadership, not some sort of ideological commitment. Secondly, the elites seem to be deeply unhappy these days. The military elites know perfectly well that South Korea has the better military, and North Korea is simply to poor to keep its toys up to date (or even necessarily in working order). The civilian elites would much rather spend their time in China or wherever else (remember the eldest Kim child?) — again, the country is just to poor to keep them at the level of comfort they want.
What does this mean for the future? Change, I suppose. The current succession isn’t going all that well, as people have mentioned. I think this will mean that any of three things will happen. One, the military could launch a coup upon Kim Jong-Il’s death. If this happens, we’ll probably see a junta engaging in some limited liberalization to try to imitate China. Some things (especially economic actions) will be legalized, but it will still be a brutally repressive regime, and the liberalization will probably fail (because they aren’t China). Two, the military could keep whichever Kim comes next around, but demand economic reforms so they can keep their toys better up-to-date. The outcome would look much like choice #1. Three, there could be another massive famine, possibly in the middle of the inevitable succession crisis (as happened in the 1990’s famine), with the government collapsing and the country turning into anarchy (as happened in many places in the 1990’s famine). The military will probably come out as the controlling power (because there’s no domestic actor capable of opposing them), and… it will end up looking a lot like the other two options, except with different national symbols and more dead people along the way.
IOW, expect actual change on the ground to be fairly slow.
I will say, I don’t think it looks much like Burma, nor will it in the future. The Burmese government, for all the people it kills or oppresses, is a pathetic little thing that can’t even kill its resident democrats and has had to effectively cede large swaths of territory to ethnic separatist groups. Neither of those opposing forces exist in North Korea to destabilize things, since the country is extremely ethnically homogeneous, and someone like Aung San Suu Kyi would be executed within ten minutes around there.
Anyway, it’s a very long .02, but that's my .02.