It seems to be an off-season for dictators and autocratic rulers. After Moammar Qaddafi, it is now the turn of Kim Jong-il, the leader of one of the last politically isolated countries in the world, North Korea, to meet his maker. However, unlike the “liberation” of Libya after Qaddafi’s fall, North Korea will not have a chance at freedom, not yet. Kim Jong-il had already appointed his successor, his son Kim Jong-un, who has disturbing physical resemblance to the chubby dictator.Whether the successor’s mental faculties are the same as his father’s is a question that only time will tell. The regime of Kim Jong-il reads out like a series of Ripley’s Believe it or Not episodes. His love for food had him airlift live lobsters and deliver it to his specially made armored train (he was afraid of flying). This in a country where severe famine and drought compounded by crop failures had the people of North Korea die of starvation. He was also notorious for abducting a well-known South Korean film director and his actress wife and forcing them to make Godzillaesque movies in North Korea. And he also had frequent trysts with the Chinese top brass, who usually supply foodgrains and other essential commodities to the impoverished nation. It was under his leadership that North Korea was branded one of the elements in the “axis of evil” by the former U.S. president George W. Bush, and is also a rogue nuclear state. The list goes on. The death of Kim Jong-il does not, unfortunately, spell the end of sufferings for the North Koreans. If we go by the old saying “the peach does not fall far from its tree,” then the North Koreans have nothing to rejoice about. We do not yet know whether Kim Jong-un intends to use his father’s armored train or likes lobsters, but these details might seep out in the following months, but until then, all we can do is wait.