The Koreas are at a very serious point in their relationship. Kim Jong Il was a dictator of the worst stripe–but he was a known quantity:
The death of Kim Jong Il opens a new and potentially dangerous period of transition and instability for North Korea and northeast Asia, while also bringing to a halt some progress in improving Pyongyang’s relations with the U.S. and South Korea.
Mr. Kim died on Saturday of a heart attack while on a train, North Korea’s state media said. A television news announcer, dressed in black and her voice quivering with emotion, said Monday the nation would unite behind Kim Jong Il’s third son, Kim Jong Eun, as North Korea’s new leader.
The Korean War ended officially in July of 1953. The conflict has never ended–and may very soon move to active war, either internally in North Korea or between North and South.
May good thinking prevail in our country’s dealings with Pyongyang and Seoul at this crucial juncture.