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Local Korean-American community reacts to Kim Jong-Il's death

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As North Koreans mourn the death of their leader Kim Jong-Il, the rest of the world is closely and cautiously watching the country's reaction.

South Koreans read newspapers reporting the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il. (Photo: Associated Press)

South Korea's military was on high alert, worried about a possible show of force, while dramatic videos of North Koreans crying surfaced on the Internet.

Kim's son, Kim Jong Un, will most likely succeed him, about whom relatively little is known.

On Monday, Kim's heir apparent was the cause of many conversations among the Korean-American community.

"I think it's an opportunity to be in serious discussions with Japan and Korea and China," said David Kim.

Many Korean-Americans expressed cautious optimism.

"North Korean people have a chance to be free," said Kyung Jin Moon. "Freedom and speech and politics."

However, North Korean defector Young Ae Ma, told local cable station "Korea One" about the dangers of Kim's young successor.

"It is very dangerous at the moment because Kim Jong Un has not been trained for very long," Young said.

Young had been a secret agent for the North until she received help from a Christian church after a natural disaster and was accused of treason. Had she stayed, she would have been executed by the Kim government. Young said she was unmoved by the mourners.

"I think they are acting because of prolonged poverty," she said. "No one is really feeling sorry for his death."

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