The death of North Korean Kim Jong-Il on Saturday also signalled the departure of one of the most significant players in the Middle East.
While the military involvement of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the region goes back to the 1973 Yom Kippur War when the "Great President" Kim Il-Sung sent a squadron of fighter jets to Egypt's aid, it was his son who transformed his isolated country into the technological and nuclear centre of knowledge for the "axis of evil".
Just last week, in a mysterious explosion at an Iranian steel plant in Yazd, a number of unidentified foreign civilians were killed. Intelligence experts believe they were North Korean engineers helping Iran manufacture advanced alloys for its uranium-enrichment programme.
While North Korean officials are never seen at summits in Tehran or Damascus, Pyongyang's fingerprints are all over the advanced weapons systems.
The nuclear reactor in northern Syria that Israel attacked and destroyed in September 2007 was a close copy of the one in Yongbyon that produced North Korea's nuclear weapon. The entire strategy of Iran, of prevarication and subterfuge while producing a bomb, is a repeat performance of Kim Jong-Il's conduct a decade earlier.
Analysts in Israel say that it is "too early to predict" whether a new leadership in Pyongyang may signal a change of tactics, especially since its influence in MidEast affairs gives the dictatorship more leverage with the West.