Kim death chance for change in North Korea: Germany
The German government said Monday that the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il offered a chance for positive change in the impoverished, nuclear-armed and deeply isolated nation.
"This is of course a chance for things to change there," a foreign ministry spokesman told reporters.
"But our expectations remain the same: that North Korea gives up its nuclear programme, that the catastrophic social situation of its own people improves and that it declares itself ready to open up in the political and economic spheres."
The spokesman declined to comment on the succession of Kim's youngest son Kim Jong-Un but said the division of the Korean peninsula would one day have to come to an end.
"Whoever takes over power must assume responsibility for improving the desperate situation of the people there. There is a clearly untenable situation with two Korean states," he said.
He called on the new leadership to introduce "democratic freedoms", fight the grinding poverty in the country and eliminate its nuclear arsenal, which he said "weakens the country as opposed to strengthening it".
© 2011 AFP