Omaha Public Radio News
1:08 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Creighton political scientist: Kim Jong-Il death an opportunity for U.S.-North Korea relations to improve

Omaha, NE – A Creighton University political scientist believes the death of Kim Jong-Il is an opportunity for the U.S. to build positive relations with North Korea.

The former North Korean leader died Saturday. His son, Kim Jong-Un, is believed to be the successor.

Maorong Jiang, Director of Creighton's Asian World Center, says Kim Jong-Un will bring a new, younger perspective to North Korea. He says that could help open the nation up to the rest of the world.

Jiang believes if Kim Jong-Un is able to open up North Korea, human rights will dramatically improve. Jiang believes a more open North Korea could also soften the country's stance on nuclear weapons.

Kim Jong-Il took over as leader of North Korea in 1994 following the death of his father, Kim Il-Sung.