Japan’s prime minister Yoshihiko Noda cancelled a speech on Monday just after noon time and rushed back to his office where he attended a flash emergency security meeting with senior ministers, to discuss the effects of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Il’s death.
“I am aware that the report has been made. I have instructed that the facts be checked,” he stated at his office.
In a "special broadcast" Monday from the North Korean capital, state media said Kim died on a train due to a "great mental and physical strain" on Dec. 17 during a "high intensity field inspection." It said an autopsy was done on Dec. 18 and "fully confirmed" the diagnosis.
Japanese prime minister Noda said he asked for refreshed intelligence-gathering on the situation in North Korea, as well as close cooperation with the U.S., China and South Korea to prepare for unexpected development.
No unusual military activity was detected in North Korea, according to Japan’s defense minister Yasuo Ichikawa.
“I have told (military chiefs) to gather information and to be thorough about surveillance,” Ichikawa said. “I have not received anything unusual so far.”
The North Korean leader died shortly after his country had proposed the resumption of six-party denuclearization talks.