SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un became visibly emotional during a speech at a military parade over the weekend as he thanked troops for their sacrifices and apologised to citizens for failing to improve their lives.
At a speech on Saturday during celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party, Kim thanked thousands of gathered troops for responding to recent damaging storms, and for helping to prevent a coronavirus outbreak in the country.
“My efforts and sincerity have not been sufficient enough to rid our people of the difficulties in their life,” he said. “Our people, however, have always believed and absolutely trusted me, and supported my choice and determination, whatever it is.”
North Korea’s economy, already severely restricted by international sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes, took a further hit as the country shut down nearly all border traffic in an effort to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.
In a scene common to many such events in North Korean, most people in the audience also had tears streaming down their faces.