Clinton urges stable transition in N. Korea

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration called for a peaceful and stable leadership transition in North Korea on Tuesday, after the death of the reclusive nation’s leader Kim Jong Il.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States is still looking for better relations with the North Korean people despite the “evolving situation” there and on the rest of the Korean peninsula. She did not mention if or how Kim’s death or the “evolving situation” on the peninsula would affect the U.S. approach to his country.

However, U.S. officials have said Kim’s passing and assumption of power of his son, Kim Jong Un, will likely delay anticipated developments on resuming nuclear disarmament talks with the North and supplying the nation with food aid.

“We both share a common interest in a peaceful and stable transition in North Korea as well as ensuring regional peace and stability,” Clinton told reporters at the State Department after a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Kemba. “We reiterate our hope for improved relations with the people of North Korea and remain deeply concerned about their well-being.”

Kemba said the U.S. and Japan “shared the recognition that it is important to make sure that the latest events would not negatively affect the peace and stability on the Korean peninsula.”

Meanwhile. Sen. John McCain said Monday the world is better off now that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has died and predicted that the dictator would join the likes of Adolf Hitler.

“I can only express satisfaction that the Dear Leader is joining the likes of Gadhafi, bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin in a warm corner of hell,” said McCain.

, the top-ranking Republican on the Armed Services Committee.


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