In what is first for the North Korean Leader, Kim Jong Un issues a rare apology for his failure to stand by his people during the pandemic as reported on Monday.
Speaking at the 75th birth anniversary of his ruling party, an emotional Kim acknowledged that he did not live up to the trust that North Koreans placed in him. For that he was “really sorry.”
Kim removed his glasses and wiped away tears during the speech, according to the report.
In an emotional stage Kim Jong Un issues an apology to them.
Pointing out the legacy of the “great work” done by his ancestors, Kim was quoted as saying, “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.”
In his emotive speech, Kim reflected on the challenging times that people around the world are experiencing due to the COVID pandemic and expressed his desire to improve relations with South Korea. He avoided any direct criticisms at Washington D.C.
November’s US election is compounding the uncertainty especially as the tone of ties between the two Koreas is often set by the state of North Korea’s relations with its old enemy the United States.
When a landmark summit between Kim and US President Donald Trump in 2018 brought an unprecedented easing of tension between those two countries, North Korea’s dealings with South Korea also saw a remarkable thaw.
But relations on the peninsula have been tense since a second summit between Kim and Trump collapsed last year, and they took another blow last month when North Korean troops shot dead a South Korean fisheries official detained at sea.
The South Korean government said Kim’s speech would foster better ties but it urged North Korea to stick to agreements preventing armed clashes and accept a request for a joint investigation into the shooting of the fisheries official.
South Korean opposition leader Kim derided a teary display by Kim as he spoke of the sacrifices made by North Korea’s armed forces.
“It was appalling to see him shed crocodile tears after shooting our citizen to death,” he said.
On Saturday, North Korea showcased its latest missile, that was larger than any of North Korea’s known intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICMBs), at a huge military parade.