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McCain: Kim Jong Il in a warm corner of hell
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McCain: Kim Jong Il in a warm corner of hell

  • Kim Jong Il in 2008, in a Korean Central News Agency photo.
    Borut Peterlin/FlickrKim Jong Il in 2008, in a Korean Central News Agency photo.

The world is a better place now that Kim Jong Il is no longer in it. For more than six decades, people in North Korea have been consigned to lives of dire poverty and cruel oppression under one of the most totalitarian regimes the world has ever known.

I can only express satisfaction that the Dear Leader is joining the likes of Qaddafi, Bin Laden, Hitler, and Stalin in a warm corner of hell.

The death of Kim Jong Il is a historic opportunity to end the long suffering of Koreans in the north and to deepen the security of Northeast Asia and the world.

While prudence and caution are certainly advisable at this volatile moment, what is needed most is determined and creative leadership to bring about, at long last, a peaceful end of the North Korean regime, reunification of the Korean Peninsula, and freedom for all Korean people. Achieving these important goals requires active leadership from the United States and the Republic of Korea, as well as our other friends and allies.

Now is an opportunity for China to play a lead role as a responsible world power.

China should work in concert with the United States and our allies to shape a peaceful transition to a unified, democratic, and independent Korean Peninsula, which will be far more stable and beneficial for China and the world than a totalitarian North Korea ever was or will be.

John McCain is a Republican Senator from Arizona.

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