North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un shed tears and apologized for his recent failures in leadership at a military parade over the weekend, according to reports.
“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 The Guardian. “I am really sorry for that.”
“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,” he continued.
The North Korean Workers’ Party held a celebration of their 75th year in power over the weekend where Kim spoke candidly about his country’s struggles with the coronavirus, among other issues, per The Guardian.
While the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea claims to have no COVID-19 cases, the global pandemic has drastically slowed North Korea’s trade with China, The Guardian says. (RELATED: Health Authorities To Test Entire Chinese City After Cases Linked To Hospital, Chinese Government Says)
Kim’s speech contained some of the same aggression and grandiose claims that are typical of his public comments, but he spent much of his time sympathizing with the North Korean people as well, per The Guardian. The dictator said many of the country’s struggles were due to his own “lack of efforts and sincerity” and said he won’t “let down our people’s faith in me even if it takes my own life,” according to the Korea Times.
Experts say the shift in tone could signify that Kim is feeling increased pressure as a leader as North Korea’s economic situation further deteriorates, per The Guardian. The North Korean economy is still subject to a number of sanctions from global economic powers due to Kim’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program.
Largest *road-mobile* liquid-fueled missile anywhere, to be clear. https://t.co/c4Y43cXOcH
— Ankit Panda (@nktpnd) October 10, 2020
Despite that, the regime used the weekend’s celebrations to unveil a new ballistic missile system. Kim did not directly criticize the United States in his speech, but did reiterate that he would “fully mobilize” his nuclear force if threatened, The Guardian reported. “It is disappointing to see the DPRK continuing to prioritize its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile program,” a U.S. official told the Daily Caller News Foundation.