Kim Jong Il Dead: Global Security at Stake

Dictator's death raises questions about the future of North Korea.
3:50 | 12/19/11

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Transcript for Kim Jong Il Dead: Global Security at Stake
Is the world's most mysterious country nuclear weapons make -- one of the most dangerous to so when the news broke in North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-Il had died. President Obama and other world leaders were braced for the worst. When the country collapse and war break out. Tonight nearly 30000 American troops in South Korea can be hit by North Korea's missiles. What does Kim Jong Il's sudden death mean for them and for us here at home. So much depends on this man Kim Jong-Il son and successor Kim Jong -- But there are also many questions about him as well what does he think is he really in charge of the world's fifth largest army. Must this young man still in his twenties. Prove himself by provoking conflict. Our team -- standout from Washington to South Korea tonight to work through these questions and we Begin with -- ABC's global affairs anchor Christiane -- for. Who's reported from inside North Korea twice before good evening Christiane. -- -- you mean within each vehicle it was high drama in North Korea. As this -- -- the use of the dear leader Kim Jong Il's death. Options -- you you're going to -- saying idea general left us so suddenly so sadly. And on the streets the citizens cutie did what was expected of them. Waiting and sweeping the great display of public patriotism. One woman declaring he does so much he Austin Austin work hard to. Feed the nation. A nation in fact steered into -- by the dear leader's policies which killed almost two million people. 20% of the country's population and which is the last of the truly totalitarian. States where where's the journalists are rarely granted visas. And then only to report what the country once known. We -- always accompanied by an official government mine -- Even Kim Jong-Il exact age is -- -- he was either 69070. He and his father held the country in an iron grip for over sixty years with the people -- sweeping away dictators and other parts of the world. He's unlikely to be felt here anytime soon. Kim hand picked his third son. 28 year old Kim Jong -- to succeed him. And today that North Korea is for naming him they knew -- It is now that his finger on the -- -- trigger. But within fetus so young and on season. Experts say it's unlikely that North Korea will -- re engage in nuclear disarmament talks with the United States and its regional allies experts believe. The north Koreans do have enough nuclear material for eight to ten weapons. And I think he's not going to want to. Have anybody rock the boat and I don't think he is going to Rock the Vote. Kim Jong -- had baffled most observers with his carefully honed cult of personality. His elevator shoes his shades and his army suit and his pension for favoring a 700 dollar bottle of cognac. And James Bond still high level US officials who met him said he was informed in charge and serious. They know that if they were to attacked us they would be. Obliterated. They're not crazy. Now rationing -- -- an already tense peninsula at. The Pentagon confirmed that the north Koreans test fired two short range missiles. Although they don't believe that there was anything that was coincidental about did not deliberately timed -- his death. And -- people who are concerned about his million strong we will probably see it on display. During the state funeral for the young son -- -- will preside over the next week.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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