France hopes N. Korea will 'find freedom' after Kim death

19th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

France said Monday it was watching the situation in North Korea following the death of leader Kim Jong-Il and hoped the isolated nation's people would be able to "find freedom".

"We are very watchful of the consequences of this succession, hoping that one day the people of North Korea will be able to find freedom," Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said in the city of Bordeaux.

"The death of a man is never something to be cheered, but it is the sad suffering of a people that is important," Juppe said.

North Korea is "a completely closed regime, one of the very last (Communist) regimes on the planet," he said, adding that North Korea's nuclear programme was the reason "we are watchful" of the situation in the country.

"There is a process of dialogue with North Korea that has highs and lows. This dialogue must continue, with China and the other participants, so that North Korea renounces its nuclear weapons," he said.

Kim Jong-Il, 69, died of a heart attack at 8:30 am on Saturday (2330 GMT Friday), while travelling by train on one of his field trips, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

© 2011 AFP

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