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.
How Jewish was Kim Jong-Il?
Although he was well qualified for the list of top ten genocidal maniacs of all time, could it be that the Dear Leader was in fact a closet Jew? Take a closer look at the man and the idea seems less preposterous. He was short, speccy, loved sushi and obsessed with Iran's nuclear weapons programme. Not only did he have one hell of a shivah (we're talking about an entire nation blubbing here), he did a great line in communal ceremonies. These were clearly very popular with his particular congregation, which appears to have been the whole of Pyongyang.
Not convinced yet? Hear this: the man liked to dress as Elvis. QED. Time to add that extra chapter to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion…
So we say he was 0% Jewish
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.