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(From International Herald Tribune (Herald Asahi))
Uncertainty looms in North Korea Portraits of Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the North Korean Workers' Party, have reportedly disappeared from some public places. They couldn't have been taken down for, say, cleaning, given that they represent the image of North Korea's ultimate personality cult. It is natural to think the removal suggests some significant changes in the Stalinist state
However, the South Korean administration of Roh Moo Hyun does not see it that way. South Korean Unification Minister Chung Dong Young said: ``Portraits remain in various public facilities that appear on North Korean television. We do not recognize any unusual signs at all.'' An ambassador of a major Western country shared the same view and added: ``We have started to prepare for a …