Kim Jong-un sheds tears as he delivers rare apology to North Korea over failings
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, shed tears as he issued a rare apology for his failure to guide the country through tumultuous times exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak.
Speaking at a huge military parade held at the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ party, Kim removed his glasses and wiped away tears – an indication, analysts say, of mounting pressure on his regime.
“Our people have placed trust, as high as the sky and as deep as the sea, in me, but I have failed to always live up to it satisfactorily,” he said, according to a translation of his comments in the Korea Times. “I am really sorry for that.”
Citing his grandfather and father – North Korea’s previous two leaders – Kim continued: “Although I am entrusted with the important responsibility to lead this country upholding the cause of the great comrades Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il thanks to the trust of all the people, my efforts and sincerity have not been sufficient enough to rid our people of the difficulties in their lives.”
While the parade in the capital, Pyongyang, featured the expected unveiling of a new intercontinental ballistic missile and other military hardware, analysts said Kim had used a sizeable portion of his speech to sympathise with the North Korean people.
The address was peppered with ominous words such as “grave challenges”, “countless ordeals” and “unprecedented disasters,” according to media accounts.