News that Kim Jong-il, the enigmatic leader of impoverished North Korea, died of a heart attack on Saturday has ripped through one of the last truly communist countries like a monsoon this morning. The late dictator was 69 years-old. Presidents, prime-ministers, and monarchs are watching intently to see what now becomes of the world’s most isolated nation. So far it’s a grief-fest:
(Telegraph) — There was wariness about where North Korea goes now under Kim Jong-il’s son, but Britain, France and Germany voiced tentative hope for a new dawn at the end of a tumultuous year that has seen regimes topple across the Middle East. The “Dear Leader”, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), “passed away from a great mental and physical strain” at 8:30am on Saturday (23.30 GMT Friday) while travelling by train on one of his field trips. It urged people to support the Swiss-educated Kim Jong-Un, who is in his late 20s and was last year made a four-star general and given top ruling party posts despite having had no public profile.
There’s a lot of speculation on what happens next, and Odin knows I’m no expert on North Korea. Could this mark the unofficial end of the Korean War and eventual reunification of that torn peninsula? What would that mean to South Korea, to China, and the world?
Oh, and sorry about the lack of posts over the weekend. I did some well earned vacationing and I guess I didn’t understand the ghost scheduling feature as well as I should.