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And so, much to the delight of his enemies, the Great Leader has died. Those enemies – namely the Western nations – are hailing this as a step forward, a new opportunity, and already Japan and South Korea have promised to work together in solving the problem of the north.

The modern history of this reclusive state is born of two events, namely the Korean war and the war on terror.

Both were a result of Great Power interference.

The first was sparked by a north attempting to reunite a nation that had been carved up by imperial Japan. In the process, she drew the fury of the new master of the Pacific, the United States of America.

When there was nothing else to bomb the Americans destroyed bridges in an effort to bring this stubborn little nation of Asians to their knees.

Eventually,  the frontier that we now recognise was marked out – at huge human cost.

And the second event was that speech by George Bush after those terrorist outrages, where he spoke of an axis of evil – Iraq, Iran and north Korea.

A year before, the north was in talks abouth reuniting with the south, and western diplomats found themselves very welcome, as this reclusive state – perhaps encouraged by China – had begun the process of opening up.

Unlike Libya and Iraq, North Korea never gave up her weapons programme, instead she testfired a nuclear bomb as a warning to anyone who may think of invading her yet again.

North Korea may be mad and many other things, but she can say that at the time of the death of the Great Leader, she and her people had maintained their independence.

Can the same thing be said of Japan and South Korea?