Kim Jong-Il dead: World leaders express 'wary optimism'

BERLIN (AP) — World governments are viewing the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il with wary optimism — a possibly destabilizing moment for the region as power passes to his son but also an opportunity for a new diplomatic start.

Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague expressed his condolences Monday but said "this could be a turning point for North Korea" as Kim Jong Un takes over as supreme leader.

Hague is calling for North Korea now to "take the steps necessary" to resume international talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons program.

Australia's Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says Kim's death is an "opportunity for the North Korean regime... to engage fully with the international community."

Key ally China offered deep condolences, calling Kim a "great leader."