Kim Jong-il dies: Your views

2005 file picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died at the age of 69, state-run television has announced.

Kim Jong-il was known as the Dear Leader. State media are urging North Koreans to support his son, Kim Jong-un, as his successor.

BBC News website readers in North Korea, neighbouring countries and the US, have been reacting to the news. Here is a selection of their comments.

North Korea

North Korea has a minimal internet presence. Online access is rare and limited to sites that comprise the domestic intranet. However, the BBC has received emails purportedly from North Korea:

I'm in Pyongyang. The silence was broken by what seemed to be gunfire near the Kumsusan Memorial Palace. This is very unusual. Some people are on standby because of elevated troop movement within Pyongyang. There are several extraordinary things happening in Pyongyang. Anon, Pyongyang, North Korea

I am very wary of what the future will bring. There are a lot of people looking to take advantage of this and it will be very dangerous for a while until everyone sees which way to lean. Kim, South Pyongyang, North Korea

I have lived in northern Korea for 33 years and regardless of Kim Jong-il's reputation for repression of the people he was no fool. He paid close attention to international happenings. All we can do now is hope his son is as intelligent as his father. Rupert, Pyongyang, North Korea

South Korea

When Kim Il-sung passed away, the majority of people in South Korea said that we would be united and there would no longer exist the names of north or south to define us in an international community. However surprisingly nothing has happened. Kim Won Kwon, Daejeon, South Korea

I'm a little bit worried about armed conflict. If our country and North Korea would have a war, we will be destroyed. Nelly Choi, South Korea

There is a general apprehension in my city. Although the news of Kim's death was at first positively received because it rekindled talk of reunification among many Koreans, these feelings promptly gave way to worry that Kim's successor would mount an unannounced military strike on the south to demonstrate that under new leadership the north will retain its military-first policy. Young Koreans, whom I rarely see animated by politics, are talking to me about the day's events from every angle. Emotions are strong. Chris Wiseley, Cheongju, South Korea

I live approximately 9km from North Korea. I think it's safe to say that feelings are very mixed. Whilst some are happy he's gone, there seems to be a sense of nervousness about where this could lead and instability this could cause. I feel a little anxious myself. I think everybody here will be watching developments very closely over the coming days. Another evil tyrant has perished, but what will replace him? That's the question concerning most people here. Daniel, Hwacheon, South Korea

Everyone has heard the news but it seems they have more important things to do. There's not much of a reaction from people here, they are more worried about what days they will have off work this winter. I guess they figure nothing will change and it's business as usual. It's usually how they feel when anything happens in North Korea. William, Seongnam, South Korea

I announced the news to my office, foreigners and Koreans, that he had died and there was a strange silence. Now everyone is furiously emailing each other. The general feeling is not worry or war but that maybe now the two Koreas can be reunited. We will see. Mac, Suwon, South Korea

In South Korea there's overwhelming curiosity as to what will happen next. No element of fear, hatred or such that you might expect, but purely the curiosity as to how North Korea will proceed and perhaps any impeding affects that may move down to and through to the South. South Korea waits with bated breath! Lauren Burrows, Daegu, South Korea


His death may end tyranny and perhaps lead to reform and opening up the economically just like in China 30 years ago when Mao Zedong died. But Kim Jong-il will still be propagandised as a great hero in their nation's history. Jose, Chongqing, China

People of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) finally get the chance to change their miserable life after a long period of poverty because of the autocratic rule of Kim Jong-il. I think Kim Jong-un is far more weaker than his father in spirit and reputation - he can't maintain the autocracy too long. So, congratulate people of DPRK. Alex, China

I think Kim's death will take a huge change in North Korea and of course the policies to the eastern Asian countries is going to be different than before, so I am so looking forward to the following reports. Robbie Lee, China


Kim Jong-un was not given enough time to prove the legitimacy of his succession. The army will not be happy to be directed by an inexperienced young man who is still a stranger to them. In the Oriental mindset, seniors are to be respected, not to be directed by a green boy. The first months are very critical as Kim has to convince the military of his leadership. Shoichiro Tomizawa, Tokyo, Japan

This is bad news for the whole region. Few people thought a 20-something-year-old is ready to suddenly take his father's place. If ever there was a time to revolt in that country, it's now. Mark, Japan


As a South Korean, I wonder if this is a good or bad news for us. Kim Jong-il has led us into many troubles, like the nuclear arms programme and the attack on Yeonpyeong Island. I just hope that King Jong-un will become a better leader and start working on all the problems surrounding North Korea, including the war, the nuclear programme and the state of poverty the North Korean citizens are in. Ja, Fremont, USA

I always hope Korea may reunite again, so that so many broken families might have a chance to meet again. I would like to be able to visit the home of my ancestors at some point in my life. But I am not optimistic. I would like to see the new leader of North Korea point the country in a new, positive direction, but from what I have heard, this may not likely be the case. Kyung Jeon, Minneapolis, USA

We enter into an uncertain phase with son Kim Jong-un, who may be more reliant on the military and nuclear options. The US should reach out with confidence building measures. It is a time for caution and careful co-ordination among all actors in the region. Stephen, New York, USA