The Chosun Ilbo reports North Korea has dedicated the first bronze statue to maximum leader Kim Jong Il.
While the NORK’s are much more inscrutable than most Asians, they are sticklers at maintaining tradition. The tradition is that you do not dedicate a statue to a man until he is dead or out of power. So my guess, and it is a guess, is that Kim has either reached room temperature; is gravely ill; or has stepped down in favor of a new man in Pyongyang.
The silence from the NORK’s suggests there is a power struggle. That would hardly be a surprise. Few hereditary dynasties last more than two or three generations, thirty to fifty years, and this one is well past middle age.