North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un got emotional as he apologised – a rare thing in itself – for failing to guide the country when it is facing the coronavirus crisis, The Guardian reported on Monday. Kim removed his glasses and wiped away tears when he addressed the military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party over the weekend.
“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.”
“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.”— Kim Jong-Un
He offered support to people around the world suffering as a result of the coronavirus crisis and said that he hoped the ties with South Korea would improve in the coming days. He also did not openly criticise the United States but warned of fully mobilising the country’s nuclear force if threatened.
North Korea has tightened its borders and is thought to have a “shoot-to-kill” policy in place to prevent Covid-19 contamination in the country. North Korea has so far not confirmed any cases of the virus, which has affected almost every country in the world. It had, however, imposed a lockdown in Kaesong city in June, claiming that the country’s first suspected case of the coronavirus had been reported there.
Analysts, however, believe that Kim’s emotional outburst was more of a sign of the pressure that his regime is facing. “It is important to look at why he has come to shed tears at such an occasion,” Hong Min, director of the North Korea division at the Korean Institute for National Unification, told the Korea Times. “Underneath his message, one can sense that Kim is feeling a lot of pressure on his leadership.”