WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs, today made the following statement after the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was confirmed:
“Kim Jong-il was certainly no friend of the Korean people or of stability in the region. The saber rattling and instability of a mad man has long threatened all of Asia and the world. Under his oppressive leadership, he was responsible for the murder of hundreds of thousands of his fellow North Koreans. His tight control of the Asian nation resulted in the unnecessary prosecution and suffering of its residents, whose freedoms are so restricted that they are currently not allowed to own a radio that can receive foreign broadcasts. A brutal dictator, his passing offers a new opportunity for the United States to show leadership as we work with our allies in the pursuit of freedom and peace for that part of the world. However, if Kim Jong-un does become the new leader, as currently reported, I doubt North Koreans will see much positive change. The people of North Korea have suffered far too long, and I am hopeful that his death brings a new beginning of liberty.