Kim Jong Il Dead: Stephen Harper Urges North Korea To Close 'Sad Chapter' In Their History

Kim Jong Il Death Stephen Harper

First Posted: 12/19/11 10:46 AM ET Updated: 12/19/11 01:25 PM ET

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is urging North Korea to work toward promoting both the well-being of its people and stability on the Korean peninsula.

Harper, commenting on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il over the weekend, says he hopes Kim's passing will bring positive change to the isolated country.

He says Kim will be remembered as the leader of a totalitarian regime who violated the basic rights of the North Korean people for nearly two decades.

He's urging North Korea to close what he calls a "sad chapter in its history" and to work for peace.

Kim died of a heart attack Saturday while carrying out official duties on a train trip. He was 69.

The government has since proclaimed Kim's twenty-something son Kim Jong Un as his successor.

Correction: An earlier version said Kim Jong Il died of heart failure. He died of a heart attack.

ON FACEBOOK: Read the Prime Minister's complete statement.

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In this Aug. 24, 2011 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, listens to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, unseen, during a meeting an a military garrison, outside Ulan-Ude. North Korean television announced Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 in a "special broadcast" that its leader Kim Jong Il has died in Pyongyang. (AP)

Filed by Michael Bolen  |