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North Korea is once again claiming the world's attention after setting off an underground nuclear device, firing off short-range missiles and declaring it has abandoned the truce with South Korea that ended the Korean War.

It has withdrawn from six-party talks and threatened its neighbours with "merciless punishment" and "all out war".

Kim Jong-Il, like his father before him, has relied on encouraging a cult of personality to help him maintain a tight grip on power.

But now questions are being raised about his health, and consequently about the country's future.

With threats, deterrence, and containment not working, and tension mounting in the region, 101 East investigates what is next for North Korea.
This episode of 101 East airs from Thursday, July 16, 2009 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 1230; Friday: 0300; Saturday: 0530, 1730; Sunday: 0330, 1130; Monday: 1630; Tuesday: 1430; Wednesday: 0830, 1930; Thursday: 0630.

Source: Al Jazeera