"North Korea is the world's most militarized nation, having the fourth largest army in the world, with a total of 9,495,000 active, reserve, and paramilitary personnel. It is a nuclear-weapons state and has an active space program." (source)
As for its military, I believe it will be prophetically important. Bible.org explains of the prophecy of the Kings of the East and the huge army seen by John,
"The Great Army From The Orient"
"Two important passages in Revelation, namely, 9:13-21 and 16:12-16 contribute to the conclusion that one of the large armies employed in the final world conflict will be a military force of great power which comes from the Orient. The first intimation of this is found in Revelation 9 where it is recorded that John:
'heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates, And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them' (verses 13-16).
"The passage goes on to describe the character of this army and the conclusion that one-third of the men were killed in the resulting military struggle."
Because of this insularity, the people are more susceptible to accepting what they are told, having nothing to balance what they are told against. The recently deceased "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il had developed a cult of personality around himself that extends beyond the grave, right up to heaven.
Here are some strange facts that Jong-Il cultivated and in the end, he probably believed them himself. He approved, or even made up, the following names and titles for himself to be used with impunity:
- Great Leader
- Father of the People
- Superior Person
- Ever-Victorious, Iron-Willed Commander
- Great Man, Who Descended From Heaven
- Glorious General, Who Descended From Heaven
And get this one, "It is reported that Kim's official biography on the North Korean state web site, which has since been taken down, claimed that Kim did not defecate. Enough said."
Jong-Il's death, not surprisingly, has its own spate of supernatural events associated with the event. BBC reports today, "Strange natural phenomena have been witnessed in North Korea since the death of the country's leader Kim Jong-il, the state news agency KCNA reports. Ice cracked on a famous lake "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth", and a mysterious glow was seen on a revered mountain top, KCNA said. ... "Even nature is mourning, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday. A snowstorm hit as Mr Kim died and ice on the volcanic Chon lake near his reported birthplace at Mount Paektu cracked, it said. Following the storm's sudden end at dawn on Tuesday, a message carved in rock - "Mount Paektu, holy mountain of revolution. Kim Jong-il" - glowed brightly, it said. It remained there until sunset. On the same say, a Manchurian crane also apparently adopted a posture of grief at a statue of the late leader's father in the northern city of Hamhung."
Wow, the 'rocks and stones would cry out'. (Luke 19:40). And creation itself groans for the loss of the Dear Leader. (Romans 8:22).
How do you suppose the ONLY superior Person, Savior and Ever Victorious One feels about a mere man calling himself these things that identify only Jesus the Most High?
We are told in Matthew 24:24 that false christs will come, even with signs that would deceive the elect if that were possible. We are told repeatedly about the falsity that will accompany the last days. We see from the reaction of the North Koreans how easy it is to deceive people. Not all the reactions of crying and mourning are real, but much of it is.
At the National Journal, Michael Hirsh wrote of Jong-Il and was excerpted by HotAir:
"There is, perhaps, no totalitarianism in the world that is as all-embracing as North Korea’s. Something like it hasn’t existed since Stalin died (and with him a personality cult very much like that which surrounds the Kims). I have spent time in other police states, but even in some of the most vicious of them, an undercurrent of dissent ran like a subterranean stream through the back rooms of restaurants, bars and private meeting rooms. Even under Saddam Hussein, Iraqi cab drivers would glance around when pressed and spit out their hatred of the dictator. Dissidents in Myanmar, during the worst of the crackdown, would whisper their fealty to democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. In Vietnam, Saigon residents would raise their eyebrows and snort at the central planners in the North. In China, after Mao’s death, there was a reappraisal of his policies, and the Communist Party ultimately allowed that some elements of “Mao Zedong Thought,” like the disastrous Great Leap Forward of the ’50s or the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s, had not been successful. ... "One foreign resident of Pyongyang, when asked on our trip in 2000 if he had ever seen any evidence of dissent–even over drinks with North Korean associates–responded: “Never. Nothing.” North Korea’s regime has come the closest of any society to what Orwell called, in 1984, the literal inability to conceive an unorthodox thought."
HotAir goes on to ask the same thing we are all wondering, I'm sure:
"Why do North Koreans behave this way when many Libyans were ecstatic to see Qaddafi go? Is it a simple matter of NK’s military being vastly more competent and therefore intimidating to the population than Libya’s was? Is it that NK, as a society, is even more cloistered than Libya, leaving North Koreans with no international yardstick to measure their own oppression by? Is it the absence of any strong tribal divisions in North Korea of the sort in Libya that gave people an identity beyond Qaddafi’s brand of nationalism? What’s the magic sinister ingredient?"
The magic sinister ingredient is satan. He is the lord of anyone on this earth who refuses or rejects the True Lord. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2; John 12:31). The magic sinister ingredient is not that the different peoples and tribes react differently to news of their Leader's death but the fact that they even for a moment first believed their leader's good intentions. The magic sinister ingredient is that Saddam, Kim Jong-il, Gaddafi, Chairman Mao are all dead now, and Jesus isn't.
All this shows us just how easily people can be duped. Kim Jong-Il duped himself into thinking he was a superior person, descended from heaven and endowed with powers. The millions inside that insular nation were duped into believing these things of Kim Jong Il when creation itself testifies that only One made the world and only One's coming should accompanied by signs and wonders. Because the world disbelieves this, Jesus will allow signs and wonders to be performed by the antichrist, and then they will believe. "The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders," (2 Thessalonians 2:9). "and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie." (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11).
And by then, the signs and wonders won't be made-up as Kim Jong-Il's were, they will be real enough to the people, and if they can be deceived, they will be.
Please listen to the Word that tells us only One is God and only One came to save us and only One draws us toward that salvation. The Triune God loves His people. Please love the truth that Jesus lived as sinless man, died for our sins and rose again to reign at the right hand of the Father. He is willing to forgive sins and to welcome you to heaven. Kim Jong-Il is dead now. Jesus is alive.