SEOUL – There was a time, not long after the Cold War’s end, when almost everyone assumed that North Korea would soon collapse. The sudden death in 1994 of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the tyrannical, economically disastrous North Korean experiment, reinforced this belief. That was then.
Today, no one can credibly say that North Korea’s dynastic regime, now led by “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il, a son of the late “Great Leader” Kim Il-sung, is certain to fall. From insistence that the end of the Kim dynasty was approaching, consensus is emerging on the continued existence of their regime.