Local Koreans expect little to change

Hyo Gyum-Kim doesn’t expect much to change on the Korean peninsula after the death of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il.

“It’s big news, of course,” said Hyo, who is from South Korea and works with Korean-American churches in Augusta. “It’s going to take many factors to change the situation over there, though.”

Kim Jong Un, the dictator’s third son, was named his successor. Hyo said the son’s policies are probably going to be much the same.

“I cannot expect for many things to change,” he said.

Dr. Yong Park, a professor of neurology and pediatrics at Georgia Health Sciences University, said the world will not know much about Kim Jong Un until he begins his administration.

“He’s a very young, 27-year-old leader,” he said. “It can be better, but we really don’t know.”

The professor said Kim Jong Un was probably heavily influenced by his father, but his age might mean he’s more willing to work with the rest of the world.

“Hopefully, this is one event that can open the door to change,” he said.

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