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Lee stresses peace, stability on peninsula despite Kim's death

All Headlines 17:49 December 19, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak ordered Cabinet ministers Monday to ensure that the North Korean leader's death will not pose a threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, his spokesman said.

Lee issued the instruction during an emergency Cabinet meeting convened after the North Korean state media announced Monday that leader Kim Jong-il died abruptly of a heart attack during a train ride on Saturday.

"Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula is more important than anything else," Lee said during the meeting, according to presidential spokesman Park Jeong-ha. "Peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula should not be threatened by this incident. We should make thorough preparations to maintain peace and stability on the peninsula and should continue close cooperation with the international community."

Lee also instructed officials to work to ensure that South Korea's sovereign credit ratings won't be affected by the death, and that citizens go about their usual lives so as to prevent domestic demand from contracting, according to the spokesman.

Lee also said that the issue should not lead to social division in South Korea.

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