South Korea on High Alert

Following the death of North Korean ruler Kim Jong-il, the White House said in a statement, “The president has been notified, and we are in close touch with our allies in South Korea and Japan. We remain committed to stability on the Korean peninsula, and to the freedom and security of our allies.” South Korean military and police have been placed on high alert, and the Parliament has held emergency sessions to discuss national defense, intelligence, and unification affairs. North Korean state TV urged North Korean citizens to support Kim’s son, saying they should “faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong-un.” Meanwhile, markets dropped on news of the dictator’s death. South Korean stocks fell 4 percent and the South Korean won fell more than 1 percent against the dollar. The Japanese yen, the euro, and the Australian dollar also fell slightly against the dollar.