Transcript for Kim Jong Il Dead: White House Reaction
Spring in ABC's Jake Tapper right now he's been in the region a couple of years ago going to South Korea with the president and so -- tell -- the White House responding this morning. But right now you the message from the White House is one of urging calm. Letting the transition take place behind the scenes obviously. The South Koreans are very nervous this is potentially -- very volatile. Situation. The new a leader of North Korea -- Kim Jung on. Is thought to be somebody that could potentially want to prove himself. In the coming weeks and months want to show. The military regime -- show the country that he is tough because he has so much to prove he is so young and so -- he is thought to have been. One of the reasons why you might remember Robin last year the north Koreans torpedoed a South Korean. Naval ship there's a lot of speculation in US intelligence. That the new president Kim Jung -- Was one of the reasons that happened he had just been appointed a four star general. By his father had something to prove and then there's also the domestic politics of South Korea they were thought -- have been. They with the leader there was criticized for not responding aggressively enough against that situation so. Right now the White House is trying to defuse. Any tensions and urge calm by the South Koreans and so going forward -- how do you think the White House will approach this this new young leader. I I think you'll be a wait and see approach obviously. There was potential four. Some sort of reconciliation. -- without Kim Jong ill early in the Obama administration there were debating whether or not. To reach out to try to bring. -- him and his country in from. It's hermit status into the community of nations and then obviously with their nuclear activities they're testing a -- of a nuclear device. That plan went away. I'm sure that there is potential. For something there but right now there is just caution and and everybody urging calm. Not wanting to accelerate what could be a very very volatile situation that -- the just just to bring to things into the conversation Robin one. This isn't like the kind of foreign policy debate. Where the US is deciding whether or not to get involved. Were involved we have 28000 troops there and then the second the point. Has to do. With the relationship that the US wants to encourage the new leader to have with the community of nations very important point that out all right -- thank you Jake Tapper the White House.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.