South Koreans living in San Diego read the news of Kim Jong Il’s death with shock, and then relief.
As one South Korean put it, Kim Jong Il was one of the ten most hated dictators in Asia --- perhaps in the world.
And as images circulate of North Koreans intensely sobbing at the news, South Koreans living in America shared different emotions.
“It sort of a surprise and a sense of relief he provoked way in South Korea,” said Korean-American David Shims.
Shims was with friends at a Korean restaurant in Kearny Mesa when he read the headline in a South Korean newspaper.
Even though he say's Kim's son and successor Kim Jong Un has no experience, he is optimistic there will be change in the North.
A lecturer in political science at San Diego State University however, says, change is unlikely under what he says a leader who is a puppet of the military.
“It’s unlikely that he’ll want to compromise if military around him has their way,” said Professor Ron Bee. “It will have to be up to him and that would be a big step forward in leadership for this family.”
Bee doesn’t think Un will be as violent or feared as his father or grandfather, but agrees with Shims that things may have to change under the new leadership.