Gov. Rick Perry today released the following statement regarding the death of Kim Jong Il:
"The death of vicious dictator Kim Jong Il provides some cause for hope but does not automatically end the reign of inhumane tyranny he and his father constructed. Twenty-three million people still live under North Korea's isolationist, inhumane and tyrannical policies. North Korea remains a nuclear power, and there is a great threat that those weapons might fall into the wrong hands if civil war breaks out.
"At the same time, Kim Jong Il's death is an opportunity to reunify the peninsula if the situation is handled effectively. Kim Jong Un is an unknown quantity, and may not be able to maintain power. The United States must now strongly reaffirm our commitment to our Asian allies, particularly South Korea, and maintain a strong military, diplomatic, and economic presence in the Pacific region during this period. We should also engage with China, and encourage Beijing to work towards a peaceful transition from a grim dictatorship to a free Korea."