(Corrects to show defense chiefs stressed importance of stability on Korean peninsula. Removes incorrect reference to assessment of succession.)
Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- The defense chiefs of South Korea and the U.S. talked over the telephone to discuss the situation after the death of Kim Jong Il and stressed the importance of peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, Kim Min Seok, a spokesman at the defense ministry in Seoul, told reporters today. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan Jin and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta agreed to closely monitor the situation in North Korea, Kim said.
--Editors: Brett Miller, Shinhye Kang
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