North Korea’s Kim tearfully thanks troops, apologises for failures

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North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un reacts during a speech at a military parade marking 75th founding anniversary of Workers' Party of Korea (Wpk), in this still image taken from video on October 12, 2020. KRT TV/ via REUTERS

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean Kim Jong Un became visibly emotional during a 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 on Saturday during celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary the founding its ruling Workers’ Party, Kim thanked thousands gathered troops for responding to recent damaging storms, and for helping to prevent a coronavirus in the country.

In video footage edited and released by the television station, Kim appeared tearful and at one point seemed to choke .

Kim said he was grateful not a single North Korean had been infected the virus, a claim U.S. and South Korean officials have previously cast doubts on.

The impact anti-coronavirus measures, international sanctions, and several typhoons combined to prevent the government from following on promises to improve citizens’ lives, Kim said.

efforts and sincerity have not been sufficient enough to rid our people the difficulties in their life,” he said. “Our people, however, have always believed and absolutely trusted me, and supported choice and determination, whatever 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 in an effort to prevent a coronavirus .

The has said as much as 40 percent of the population faces food shortages, which have been exacerbated by severe summer floods and typhoons.

In a scene common to many such events in North Korean, most people in the audience also had tears streaming down their faces.