The Times of London has an excellent piece on the current situation in North Korea:
In interviews for this article over many months, western policymakers, Chinese experts, North Korean exiles and human rights activists built up a picture of a tightly knit clan leadership in Pyongyang that is on the verge of collapse.
Some of those interviewed believe the â€œDear Leaderâ€, Kim Jong-il, has already lost his personal authority to a clique of generals and party cadres. Without any public announcement, governments from Tokyo to Washington are preparing for a change of regime.
North Korea is one of the world’s most closed society, if not the most closed, but the signs of revolution are everywhere. The removal of Kim Jung-Il’s portraits, the sudden change of tone in the media, anti-Kim messages scrawled on images of the North Korean despot, and evidence that the North Korean government is frantically liquidating assets for cash.
Not only that, but the Times also notes:
Bushâ€™s re-election dealt a blow to Kim, 62, who had gambled on a win by John Kerry, the Democratic candidate. Kim used a strategy of divide and delay to drag out nuclear talks with the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea through 2004.
Kim lost his bet and now faces four more years of Bush, who says that he â€œloathesâ€ the North Korean leader and has vowed to strip him of atomic weapons.
The situation in North Korea is unstable, and Christian activists are working to help get as many people out of the Stalinist regime as possible. Hopefully whatever happens will result in some kind of easing of regional tensions and a new hope for a free Korean peninsula, but history has shown us all that such changes can often occur with a speed and violence that is blinding and deadly.