TOKYO, Dec 19 (KUNA) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Monday
instructed government officials to make preparations for any unexpected
circumstances following news of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il,
the top government spokesman said.
Noda also called for stepping up efforts to gather information and keep in
close touch with the US, China, South Korea, and other countries, Chief
Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference after an emergency
national security meeting over the issue.
Earlier in the day, North Korea's state media said Kim died of a heart
attack on Saturday during a train trip. He was 69.
"We hope Kim's death has no negative impact on peace and security on the
Korean Peninsula," Fujimura said, adding that the government has no
information about who will succeed Kim.
Tokyo also set up a crisis-management center at the premier's office.
Separately, Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa said that he urged ministry
officials to make utmost efforts to closely monitor developments in North
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