Kim Jong-un is preparing to take charge in North Korea, giving the Koreas a moment to ratchet down tensions. For South Korea, interest in stability runs high.
Seoul, South Korea
Those desires, as expressed by South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak, the North Korean press, and by some South Korean lawmakers, gave the impression Thursday that South and North Korea might again begin to reconcile once Kim Jong-un gets used to his role as heir to the dynasty that his father Kim Jong-il led for 17 years.
“We are not hostile to the North, “ said President Lee, as quoted by his senior secretary. Indeed, he added, “front-line troops are maintaining low levels of vigilance” – down from the emergency alert called after North Korea announced Kim Jong-il’s death Monday – and “an early stabilization of North Korea’s system is in the interests of neighboring countries.”
In Pyongyang, the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun promised “to strengthen friendships with people of foreign countries” while calling on everyone to unite around “great comrade Kim Jong-un and faithfully follow his leadership.”
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