Some of those interviewed believe the “Dear Leader”, 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.
The death of Kim’s favourite mistress last summer, a security clampdown on
foreign aid workers and a reported assassination attempt in Austria last
November against the leader’s eldest son, Kim Jong-nam, have all heightened the
sense of disintegration.
and then a little later in the piece:
Bush’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 “loathes” the North Korean leader and has vowed to strip him of atomic weapons.
Queer things are stirring at the dark end of that penninsula.