Korea: December 23, 2004


North Korea has purged several senior government officials, including some members of the ruling Kim family. Nearly a hundred senior officials have been dismissed, with some of them arrested and sent to prison camps. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is supporting more economic reforms. But many government officials see these reforms as allowing more North Koreans to see what the outside world is like, and this causes more unrest. Kim apparently believes that change is inevitable, but many of his frightened colleagues do  not. To prevent a coup, Kim has removed a number of generals from command, and shifted around many more. 


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