The execution this week of the Uncle of the present leader marks a new twist in displays of the brutality of this present regime. At one level this can be seen as a power struggle with the ruling dynasty, as the younger Kim establishes his rule. The quick and public nature of this purge speaks to more than an internal power struggle, analysts in South Korea argue it speaks of a greater instability within the nation. The South Korean President is quoted as saying that North Korea is unleashing a reign of terror and that this has threatening implications for South Korea.
While there are some signs of growing prosperity, for most people life in this nation continues to be as hard as ever. Food prices continue to increase, leaving many balling for the basic nutrition needed for survival. The rate of malnutrition among infants and toddlers is at an alarming level. The political games of the regime, and the efforts to deal with those from outside agencies, leaves children and the old particularly vulnerable.
Recent events have also shown a decreased tolerance for those who think differently. Journalists and Christians are seen as enemies of the state. To read or own a bible is an offense punishable by imprisonment or potentially execution. And yet many are willing to pay that price in order to live with hope that comes when they are in relationship with Jesus Christ.
Pray that God would stay the hand of evil, that there would be advocates who would speak for issues of justice, and for prayer to bring breakthroughs that allow people to find hope in the Kingdom of God.