North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un has issued an unusual tearful apology over his leadership failings, telling his countrymen he had failed to adequately “rid our people of the difficulty in their lives”.
The 36-year-old leader of the totalitarian state made the comments during a huge military parade held in the capital Pyongyang over the weekend to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party.
“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. I am really sorry for that,” Mr Kim said, according to a translation by The Korea Times.
“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 added, referencing his grandfather and father respectively – North Korea’s previous two dictators.
Halfway through the speech Mr Kim was seen removing his glasses to wipe away tears – a sign analysts said of the increasing pressure he is under to deal with challenges faced by the country.
Mr Kim himself cited the coronavirus pandemic, sanctions and natural disasters as the “three hardships” North Korea faces today.