Though President Barack Obama is yet to voice American approach to new North Korean "Respected Comrade", top US lawmakers have wished his father, the late Kim Jong Il, "a warm corner in hell", alongside the likes of Muammar Gaddafi, Osama bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin.
"The world is a better place now that Kim Jong-Il is no longer in it," said Senator John McCain, a Republican lawmaker who unsuccessfully contested for the President in 2008.
McCain was not alone, several other lawmakers said that Kim, called "Dear Comrade" by his colleagues, had subjected his people to "dire poverty and cruel oppression under one of the most totalitarian regimes the world has ever known."
"I can only express satisfaction that the Dear Leader is joining the likes of Gaddafi, bin Laden, Hitler and Stalin in a warm corner of hell," McCain said as he urged China to play a lead role as a responsible world power.
Texas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Rick Perry said there was a window of opportunity to help the people of North Korea after the death of its leader, by encouraging Beijing to work towards a peaceful transition from a grim dictatorship to a free Korea.
Another Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney said Kim Jong-Il was a ruthless tyrant who lived a life of luxury while the North Korean people starved.
"His death represents an opportunity for America to work with our friends to turn North Korea off the treacherous course it is on and ensure security in the region. America must show leadership at this time," Romney said.
Congressman Ed Royce, a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the transition is less stable than may appear.
Kim Jong-il in Warm Corner of Hell With Stalin: McCain
Lalit K Jha / Washington
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