North Korean regime on the brink, FA poll suggests

Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s bouffant-wearing despot, could face overthrow if the country’s bizarre recent actions are any indication.
Kim Jong-il waves from his train carriage on his five-day trip to China in early May.
Kim Jong-il waves from his train carriage on his five-day trip to China in early May.

North Korea's bizarre actions during the past few months, culminating in the sinking of a South Korean warship in late March, might indicate that Kim Jong-il is losing his grip on power, according to respondents to our web poll last week.

Our readers are not alone in questioning the regime's stability. Intelligence analysts have reported Kim's death on a couple of occasions since 2003 and he has variously been reported as suffering from pancreatic cancer, diabetes, several strokes and a brain haemorrhage. Regardless of whether the tiny despot is dead, dying or dancing a waltz, some analysts are now saying that the sinking of the Cheonan and the chaotic revaluation of the currency last year...

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