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Friday, 6 January 2012

IN MEMORIAM - KIMJONG-IL, NORTH KOREAN LEADER

Death is indeed a leveller (by which I mean “a situation or activity in which distinctions of class, age, power, wealth or ability are immaterial”). All die at some point, no matter how rich, how famous or in the case of KimJong-Il, how powerful!

Why do we die? Well the Bible gives us the reason in Genesis 3:19, where we see God pronouncing a curse on Adam following the fall. It says, “By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.” (NLT)

Kim Jong-il (born Yuri Irsenovich Kim,16 February 1941– 17 December 2011)  was the supreme leader of North Korea (DPRK) from 1994 to 2011. He succeeded his father and founder of the DPRK Kim Il-sung following the elder Kim's death in 1994. Kim Jong-il was the General Secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, Chairman of the National Defence Commission of North Korea, and the supreme commander of the Korean People's Army, the fourth-largest standing army in the world.

In April 2009, North Korea's constitution was amended to refer to him implicitly as the "supreme leader". He was also referred to as the "Dear Leader", "our Father", "the General", and "Generalissimo", among others. His son Kim Jong-un was promoted to a senior position in the ruling Workers' Party and is his successor. In 2010, he was ranked 31st in Forbes Magazine's List of The World's Most Powerful People. The North Korean government announced his death on 19 December 2011.

Kim Jong-il was the centre of an elaborate personality cult inherited from his father and founder of the DPRK, Kim Il-sung. Defectors have been quoted as saying that North Korean schools deify both father and son. He was often the centre of attention throughout ordinary life in the DPRK. On his 60th birthday (based on his official date of birth), mass celebrations occurred throughout the country on the occasion of his Hwangab. Many North Koreans believed that he had the "magical" ability to "control the weather" based on his mood. In 2010, the North Korean media reported that Kim's distinctive clothing had set worldwide fashion trends.

One point of view is that Kim Jong Il's cult of personality was solely out of respect for Kim Il-sung or out of fear of punishment for failure to pay homage. Media and government sources from outside of North Korea generally support this view, while North Korean government sources aver it was a genuine hero worship.  The song "No Motherland Without You", sung by the KPA State Merited Choir, was created especially for Kim in 1992 and is frequently broadcast on the radio and from loudspeakers on the streets of Pyongyang.

I recently came across this poem by E. J. Thribb published in The Private Eye:

In Memoriam KimJong-Il, North Korean Leader
So. Farewell
Then
Kim Jong-
Il

You were
Kim Jong-
Il

Then you were
Kim Jong-
Very-il

Now you are
Kim Jong-
Il
Dead

What happens after death? Well, lets turn again to the Bible. It says in Hebrews 9:27, “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comes judgment” (NASB). So, now Kim Jong-il is facing his maker, the Most High God in judgement. I wonder how he is doing? And when it is your turn, how well will you do? You cannot do well in this judgement without knowing Jesus as your Lord and Saviour!

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