Here's a limited window on the mentality of the NK-style cover-up, quoting defectors, and some details of the immediate media/propaganda atmosphere:
The head of South Korea's National Red Cross is currently in Pyongyang and had offered aid to the North Koreans, but has received no information concerning the disaster.
Offers of humanitarian aid from South Korea, Australia and the United States were met with silence.
International aid agencies and diplomats based in Pyongyang have also been kept in the dark.
A correspondent for Russia's ITAR-TASS, one of the few journalists from an outside the country based in Pyongang, said that North Korean officials refused to comment on the disaster and North Korea's media was mute.