Here is the news - of 1994: Asia

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NORTH KOREA will finally explode in 1994 - but not in the way that the world fears or expects. No sooner will Kim Il Sung agree to give up his nuclear ambitions, in exchange for economic assistance, than his subjects will rebel against more than four decades of Stalinism.

Food riots will break out and the military, faced with the choice of disobeying orders or mowing down their own people, will take the path of Tiananmen rather than Bucharest. The US and South Korea will reluctantly conclude that it would be too dangerous to intervene across the demilitarised zone, and the Kim dynasty will cling on. The 'Great Leader' will decide, however, that the time is not yet right to hand over power to his playboy son, Kim Jong Il, the 'Dear Leader'.

China will continue to abuse the Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten, especially after he introduces the second, and much more significant, part of his political reforms. The colony's stock market will be more concerned about runaway inflation on the mainland, which will defy Peking's attempts to maintain central control. The country's supreme leader, Deng Xiaoping, will not live to see his 90th birthday in August. His anointed successor, Jiang Zemin, will find it difficult to counter the influence of his predecessor as president, Yang Shangkun.

Japan's personable Prime Minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, will be forced to call an election after the collapse of his seven- party coalition.

An election will also be held in India when one of the major parties decides it stands to gain from forcing a dissolution. The Prime Minister, Narasimha Rao, will remain in power, but his Congress (I) party will need a coalition partner to hold a majority.