Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack on December 17th while travelling on the train. For two days, North Korea rulers kept this information secret from the state news agency, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Trade. Today, the news of the death of Dear Leader went around the whole world and made global breaking news.
Apart from the usual diplomatic messages expressing grief towards North Korea, the White House responded immediately to a message declaring that it is ready to support South Korea against potential changes in the situation on the Korean peninsula. President of South Korea raised the threat level of a cyber attack to Grade 3, the highest. South Korean authorities may, in fact, fear of attacks on their networks and servers, because this year several of them happened. The most serious attack occurred in July 2011, when hackers paralyzed SK Communications, a South Korean telecom company. The North korea was accused of attack which Pyeongyang never acknowledged.
Lee Myeong-bak also contacted the White House indicating his readiness to take all necessary steps required in that situation.
Tthe financial markets reacted immediately to the death of Kim Jong-il. South Korea's Kospi index initially fell by 4.1 percent, but then regained a bit of loss and early morning, the decrease was 3.1 percent. Japanese Nikkei has lost 1 percent. and reached 8,314.44 points. According to Victor Cha from Center of Strategic and International Studies this is a reaction similar to the stock market declines in 1994 after the death of former North Korean dictator Kim Il-Sung.
Global speculations began about the transfer of power in North Korea. Some analysts expect turbulence and potential conflict between several wings of power in North Korea, including a military coup. Director of the Institute of International Relations, Yonsei University, Professor Lee Chung-Min claims we do not yet know all the answers to many questions. Seizure of power by Kim Jung-Un who was promoted to be the next leader by deceased Kim Jong-il depends on whether he will cope with the hardline generals who are willing to use the situation to take over strings in Pyeongyang. Before Kim Jung-Un will be able to implement any of his own ideas in North Korean politics he has to consolidate power and convince the reluctant ones.
South Koreans, who are closest to all events, react calmly. There is no widespread panic, no one collects goods in case of crisis. As I wrote earlier crisis in relations with North Korea occurs so often that South Koreans are accustomed to it., even if it is the death of the leader of North Korea. Lee Yong Jun, a young engineer from Suwon says it's too early to predict what will happen - It can lead to conflict for power, as hardliners are able to use a young age of Kim Jung-Un against him. But any discussion and figuring out is in my opinion, premature. None of the analysts really knows what will happen and their panic can only reflect on our wallets more than the potential movements of North Korea. - Yong Jun highlights.
This confirms the reaction of the Ministry of Defence, which remains calm and says that there is no compelling reason to raise the DEFCON alert of South Korean armed forces. Anti North Korean surveillance alert had also not been raised. South Korean President Lee Myeong-bak canceled all his meetings and called up an extraordinary summit designed to establish rules of conduct in the situation, however pressing the need for reason and calm.
Ironically we can guess whether this was a good or not good gift for President Lee-Myeong-bak's birthday which is exactly today. Photo: REUTERS