Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Paul Kattupalli. Thank you for joining us today. This week the world is shocked to learn that North Korea tested hydrogen bomb. Every time I see North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un on the television, I say to myself, ‘man, what is your problem? Don’t you have better things to do’ He is threatening Japan, South Korea and the United States, almost daily, with ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and now hydrogen bomb. As Ambassador Nikki Haley said, ‘He is begging for war’.
We have to analyze these developments in the light of the Word of God. The Bible is absolutely dependable guide when we find ourselves in confusion and chaos. Only God knows the past, present and the future. So, to understand our times we must open our Bibles. In Zechariah chapter 14, we see the world nations gathering around Israel to destroy it. Even Lord Jesus taught us in Matthew chapter 24 what we should be looking for during the last days. He clearly told about the final invasion of Israel.
We read in Matthew 24:6. “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”Our world is becoming dangerous month after month. The Bible talks about the Battle of Armageddon. When you get some time, study Joel chapter 3, Revelation chapters 9,16,19 and also Matthew chapter 24. They describe the final battle Satan and world powers wage against Israel and God.
Jesus said, you are going to hear of wars and rumours of war; but don’t get anxious, don’t be troubled, for all these things must come to pass. I am not looking for another missile or another hurricane, I am looking for the return of our blessed Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Apostle Paul wrote in Titus 2:13, ‘looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus’.
If you look at the world around you, it could be depressing. We have seen what Hurricane Harvey did to Texas. The storm came, then the flood, then the toxic chemicals being released into water, families trapped in the vehicles, then there is curfew because some thugs are going around looting homes and shops, then there is zika and west nile virus spreading in the flood waters. We are seeing a cascade of horrible events unleashed by the hurricane. Now, another hurricane is approaching the coast. Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott has been working around the clock to help the flood victims. He is the first Texas governor to use a wheelchair. When I see him in a wheelchair, I am reminded of the limitations God has placed on human beings. Some of our computer programmers working on virtual reality. The goal of virtual reality is to shut out other sensory stimuli and replace them with a world created by the computers. There is nothing wrong with developing new technologies but we shall not forget that we are living in a fallen world. Hurricanes, volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes come to us with a profound message: We are not masters of the universe. Hurricanes and hydrogen bombs bring us out of virtual reality into real reality. A world ravaged by sin and corruption.
Our Lord told us, during the last days, natural disasters come with increased frequency. There will also be wars and rumors of wars. Our world is obsessed with war. India and China just walked off a major confrontation over a border dispute. The world was on alert because these two countries have the largest armies in the world and both possess nuclear weapons. Thankfully, they did not go to war. There is ISIS and other militant Islamic organizations waging war in Philippines, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia etc. North Korea is itching to pick up a fight with the United States.
North Korea in its own way preparing for the Battle of Armageddon. Let us briefly look into the history of this nation. Korea was a Chinese satellite before it was annexed by Japan in 1910. After Second World War, Korea became an independent country. The forces of Cold War between the United States and Soviet Russia swept strongly over the Korean peninsula. Just like Germany, Korea was divided into two separate states in 1948. South Korea came under American patronage and North Korea went under Soviet patronage. The Soviets installed the first leader of North Korea; he was Kim Il-Sung (1912-1994). He was known as ‘Great Leader’. He was trained and educated in the Soviet Union. He invaded the south on June 25, 1950. They crossed the 38th parallel. The United States intervened, saved South Korea’s independence, and restored the 38th parallel as the effective border. It paid a great price for these freedoms, the Korean War from 1950 to 1953 claimed three million lives.
Atheism became the official state policy of North Korea. Possessing a Bible in North Korea is a capital punishment. Many Christians lost their lives just for reading the Bible. You see folks, Bible and totalitarianism do not go together. Christian worldview teaches that all human beings are created in the image of God. Liberty is a gift of God to all human beings. You don’t see the concept of liberty in the Eastern religions. North Korea is one of the last surviving Stalinist states. Communism was uprooted in European nations but it is still thriving in Asian nations. Buddhism provides fertile soil for Stalinism and Communism, because it has no concept of a God who is the author of liberty. Confucianism is no better. It mandates absolute submission to authorities: Submit, submit, and submit. No questions asked. Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shintoism don’t have the concept of liberty and freedom of individual conscience. Every household, every office, every government building must keep the portrait of Kim Jong (current leader of North Korea). They developed a personality cult around their leader. When we remove God of the Bible from our conscience, sooner or later, that is what is going to happen: personality cults will develop. We have so many personality cults around pop stars, sports stars, music stars, hollywood actors, politicians. Personality cults take us away from God, they take us away from the worship of God. That is exactly what is happening in North Korea. They officially became atheist, but instead of worshiping God, they worship a human being like Kim Jong. In that sense, we are all worshippers. If we don’t worship God, we worship something else, a human being, money, power, status etc.
North Korea is among the worst persecutors of Christians. Just seventy years ago, 13 percent of its population was Christian. Pyongyang was called ‘Jerusalem of the East’. Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham, went to Pyongyang to prepare for her ministry training. We say, what in the world was she doing in North Korea? But seventy years ago, before Communists took over this country, there was safety for Americans like Ruth Graham and her father. What happened? Communists took over and outlawed Christianity. They removed all traces of Christianity from public life. Today, beside Muslim nations, North Korea became a nation where Christians are severely persecuted for their faith.
North Korea became a massively militarized state. It spends over 30 percent of its GDP on defense. It maintains one of the world’s largest armies. Famine has been wreaking havoc in this nation. In the 1990s, over two million people were killed due to famine. Stalin starved millions of people in his social engineering programs. Kim Jong is doing the same thing to the people of North Korea in the name of welfare.
The official name of North Korea is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or DPRK. Like China’ People’s Republic, it is an oxymoron. There is nothing democratic about North Korea. China is critical to North Korea because up to 85 percent of North Korea’s imports and exports go through China.
There is a perpetual propaganda machine in operation around the clock. Every household in North Korea is installed with a radio receiver, so called ‘the speaker’. This radio broadcasts songs, proclamations, the abilities and virtues of their leader, the military achievements like missile launches. You cannot turn the radio off, you cannot change the stations, 24/7 you should listen to same radio station. There are a dozen prison camps resembling the Soviet Gulags. They hold an estimated million prisoners. There are reports that prisoners were subjected to biological weapons testing. The so called ‘Great Leader’ performing chemical and biological weapons experimentations on his own people. Tens of thousands of people try fleeing to South Korea or China. They are stopped and often executed.
North Korea’s Nuclear weapons: Why does North Korea need nuclear weapons? No one is threatening it! They believe in Marxist utopia. If they kill all capitalists, a socialist utopia will emerge. In October 2006, North Korea announced that it has carried out an underground nuclear test. Last week they performed their fifth nuclear test. They claimed it is a hydrogen bomb. They are also developing intercontinental ballistic missiles, called Scud missiles and Nodong missiles.
North Korea also developed significant cyber warfare technology. In 2014, North Korea hacked Sony Pictures in retaliation for a film that depicted the assassination of Kim Jong. They want to suppress freedom of speech not just in North Korea but around the world. It resembles Organization of Islamic Cooperation in this matter. OIC, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation consist of 57 Muslim nations. It is the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. It has been working to criminalize any criticism of Islam, not just in Muslim nations, but around the world. That is something common between Islam and Marxism. Both systems cannot tolerate dissent.
Now how does North Korea fit into God’s prophetic time table?
In Zechariah chapter 14, we read about the final battle the world wages on Israel. Satan is preparing our world ideologically and politically for this great battle, the battle of Armageddon.
Israel is surrounded by enemies all around. The Muslim world is divided as Sunni and Shiite. Sunni world is under the leadership of Saudi Arabia and Shiite world is under the leadership of Iran. Both camps have enormous hatred towards Israel.
You see, they are driven by apocalyptic ideologies. Everyone has their own apocalypse.
Talk to secular environmentalists. ‘They say, oh, boy, the Arctic is melting, grizzly bears are dying, unless we control global warming, this planet will catch fire and burn’. They fear an ecological demise. They would even embrace a tyrant if he or she would implement climate change policies with force.
Talk to Islamic fundamentalists. They are waiting for Mahdi, the 12th imam. They believe destroying America and Israel with nuclear weapons will facilitate the arrival of Mahdi and his thousand year reign.
Talk to Communists. Their apocalypse involve the establishment of a perfect socialist world after the annihilation of the last capitalist.
So, everyone has an apocalypse. They want to build nuclear weapons to bring on this apocalypse. With their conventional and nuclear weapons, the world nations will go to destroy Israel. But in Zechariah 14, God said, ‘when the nations of the world come to destroy Israel, I will protect it’. That’s the good news, the final victory belongs to God. But Satan, in his willful blindness, ignores this coming reality and is now preparing the nations of the world to wage war against Israel. The Islamic nations don’t have the capability to develop nuclear weapons on their own. So, they are seeking help from Russia, China and North Korea.
Syria: Let’s start with Syria. On September 6, 2007 Israeli fighter jets carried a surprise attack on Syria. Israeli intelligence tracked a North Korean cargo ship which was docked in a Syrian port. The cargo was then transferred to a secret site in the Deir ez-Zor region of Syria. The Israeli Air Force conducted an airstrike on this site. According to IAEA investigative reports, ten North Korean nuclear scientists were killed during the airstrike.
What were North Koreans doing in Syria? They were building nuclear weapons for Hezbollah to destroy Israel. That’s nuclear terrorism. In April 2008, US President George W.Bush administration released the images and video of the facility destroyed by Israel. This video was taken inside the nuclear facility. It convinced the world that North Korea was helping Syria construct a reactor that was similar to North Korea’s nuclear reactor at Yongbyon. The Syrian reactor was within weeks or months of being functional when Israel destroyed it.
From September 2007 to April 2008: Why did Bush administration wait seven months before it released this video? It said it withheld out of fear that Syria could retaliate against Israel and start a war in the Middle East. Israel had no alternative except destroying the nuclear reactors of Syria. Back in 1981, it destroyed the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq shortly before it started operations. Saddam Hussein was planning to attack Israel with nuclear weapons during those years.
Iran: Then Iran. Iran calls America, the Great Satan and Israel Little Satan. There is a religious aspect to Iran’s hatred for America and Israel. Iran believes that defeat of America and Israel pave the way for the coming of Mahdi. Now, who in the world is Mahdi? There is a prophecy in Islam about the coming of the Twelfth Imam: Imam Muhammad Abul Qasim. He is missing since AD 941. Shiite Muslims believe Allah is hiding this imam, so called Hidden Imam. They believe that this Mahdi will come at the time of Armageddon. His coming will be triggered by the destruction of Israel. In his book, Iran & Israel, Mark Hitchcock listed some fast facts about the Mahdi:
The Mahdi won’t come in an odd year (Islamic calendar)
He will appear in Mecca
He will travel from Mecca to Kufa (Iraq)
Jesus will return with him and be his deputy.
He will rule for 7 years.
Note the last fact: Mahdi will rule the world for 7 years. It sounds like seven years of AntiChrist. What we consider as AntiChrist is the Mahdi in Islam. No wonder the Bible says AntiChrist will be welcomed by the world when he first appears on world stage.
There are also strategic reasons for Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. Remember George W Bush called Iran, Iraq and North Korea as part of the ‘axis of evil. In 2003, Bush invaded Iraq. Some analysts believe that Iran learned an important lesson from the two other states. It reasoned like this: Iraq had no nuclear weapons, so, Bush attacked it. North Korea had nuclear weapons, so Bush did not attack it. So, Iran wants nuclear weapons as a deterrence.
Iran is relying on Russia and North Korea for its weapons. Remember prophet Ezekiel wrote in Ezekiel chapter 38 that Russia will play a major role in the invasion of Israel. North Korea is also helping Iran in developing and manufacturing Nodong missiles. An Economist Foreign Report disclosed that Iran is helping to finance North Korea’s nuclear program and that North Korea would supply Iran with nuclear technology and equipment. Nodong is an intermediate ballistic missile. In 1993, North Korea started to help Iran in the production of Nodong missiles. The Iranian names for Nodong are Shahab 3 and Shahab 4.
Countless times, Iran declared the annihilation of Israel as its goal. Los Angeles Times reported that North Koreans were seen at Iranian nuclear facilities in 2003. They were helping Iran in developing nuclear warheads that could be fitted on the Shahab-4 missile. As early as in 1993,North Korea supplied 150 Nodong missiles to Iran for oil and cash.
Pakistan: In the 1990s, North Korea supplied Scud and Nodong missiles to Pakistan.
Egypt: In the summer of 1996, the CIA discovered North Korea was supplying Scud missile launchers to Egypt.
Israel’s efforts to stop North Korea: As you can guess, North Korea does not recognize the State of Israel. It is supplying missile and nuclear technology to the enemies of Israel.
Israel is doing all it can to survive. Back in 1993, Israel had secret talks with North Korea when it started to sell Scud c missiles to countries hostile to Israel. Israeli officials visited North Korea in 1992 and offered a deal: If North Korea stop selling missiles to Arab nations, Israel will offer North Korea economic assistance, up to one billion dollars. Israel will also supply thousands of trucks and provide assistance in gold mining.
But North Korea did not listen. Israeli ambassador to South Korea, Asher Naim then quipped, ‘We realized we were too small a player in this world poker game’. Israel supplied drones worth 32.5 million dollars to South Korea to keep an eye on North Korea. But its efforts do not seem successful because North Korea is still offering nuclear cooperation to Iran.
So, what can we learn from these developments? The world is preparing for the great Battle of Armageddon. Many nations are now turning against Jews and Israel. Neo-nazis are filling the streets. North Korea and Iran coming together. Secular marxists and Islamists are joining hands in their hatred for Israel.
In that way, North Korea is fulfilling the prophecies of the Bible. It became a major supplier of missiles and nuclear technology to countries which hate Israel and the United States: Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya.
How should Christians respond?
US President Harry Truman recognized the State of Israel immediately after its formation. He believed in the Bible. You know, many of his advisors strongly opposed recognizing Israel. I don’t think under current circumstances, any US President would recognize the State of Israel, because America and the West are sliding on the slippery slope of cultural and moral relativism. Turn on any television channel, you will see lot of confusion. North Korea sees confusion in the West as one of its assets. When we leave the Bible as our foundation, that is what happens: Confusion and Chaos. We lose our confidence and courage that come from moral clarity.
If you read the Bible and world history carefully, you will notice that the Jews have lived in Holy Land continuously from the the time of Joshua until the present day. So, for over 3200 years the Jews lived in that land. They were deported several times by Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans and others, but they always maintained their presence in the Holy Land. But many nations are reluctant to recognize it as the homeland for the Jewish people because they do not believe in the Bible any more.
A recent poll in European Union found that almost 60 percent of the Europeans surveyed believed Israel was more dangerous than North Korea. Seriously? It is absolutely astounding that Israel, a democratic nation with full human rights, is considered more dangerous than North Korea. But that is what happens when we leave the Word of God, the moral compass to our lives.
These things could be distressful. But remember the final victory belongs to God.
When you get some time study Zechariah chapter 13. During the end times, God will do 6 things to Israel:
- The city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt
- The people of Israel will be regathered
- The relationship between Israel and Jehovah will be restored
- The land of Israel will refreshed
- The covenant standards will be renewed
- The Gentiles will be redeemed
So, God is working behind the screens as the world prepares for the Battle of Armageddon. As Christians, we do not have to be anxious. Hurricanes and hydrogen bombs cannot shake our faith in God. We are looking for the glorious return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I hope you confess your sins, put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and prepare for His Second Coming.
Paul Kattupalli MD
Korea North Country Study Guide Volume 1 Strategic Information and …, Volume 1
By IBP, Inc.
Israel: The Will to Prevail
By Danny Danon
Iran and Israel
By Mark Hitchcock
Asian Yearbook of International Law: 1994
edited by Ko Swan Sik, J. J. G. Syatauw, M. C. W. Pinto
Iran, Israel, and the United States: Regime Security Vs. Political Legitimacy
By Jalīl Rawshandil, Nathan Chapman Lean
North Korea: Terrorism List Removal?
By Larry Niksch
Israel’s Quest for Recognition and Acceptance in Asia: Garrison State Diplomacy
By Jacob Abadi
North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Development and Diplomacy
By Larry A. Niksch
Contemporary North Korea: A Guide to Economic and Political Developments
By Ian Jeffries