The Voice of the Martyrs contacts working with North Korean Christians do not expect a change in the North Korean government’s policies and practices that persecute believers, despite reports the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Il, is acutely ill.
VOM contacts report that sometime in late August, Kim Jong Il suffered some kind of acute illness, quite possibly a stroke, that incapacitated him to some level but was neither fatal nor debilitating enough to prevent him from continuing to be aware and interactive with those around him. VOM contacts also report that five Chinese physicians are known to be in North Korea and it is assumed they are caring for him.
“It is also reasonably certain that no change in the North Korean power structure has occurred, and there are no signs that such a change is imminent,” says a staff member who oversees VOM’s work in North Korea. In recent days, numerous media reports have suggested that Kim Jong Il’s stroke has created a chaotic power struggle for control of North Korea, also called the “Hermit Kingdom.”“Kim Jong IL’s rise to power during the reign of [his father] Kim Il Sung occurred through the military, and his power continues to be exercised in this way. No line of succession has been publicly noted, though it is well established that the Chinese prefer Kim Jong Nam, Kim Jong Il’s eldest son, while the North Korean military prefers Kim Jong Chul, Kim's second son,” a VOM North Korea insider said.
VOM has been working with persecuted believers in North Korea for decades, including launching thousands of scripture balloons across into the notoriously closed country. VOM encourages all believers to pray for the situation in North Korea. Pray for the protection of believers living under harsh conditions and those who have defected to China. Ask God to use their courageous testimonies to draw non believers into fellowship with Him.
To help you to effectively pray for North Korea, The Voice of the Martyrs has released a new book giving the history of the gospel and of persecution in that nation. Click here to purchase Restricted Nations: North Korea, the second book in VOM’s Restricted Nations series.