In a first for Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader apologised for his failure to stand by his people during the pandemic, the Guardian reported on Monday.
Speaking at the 75th birth anniversary of his ruling party, a visibly emotional Kim acknowledged that he did not live up to the trust that North Koreans placed in him, and for that he was “really sorry.” Kim removed his glasses and wiped away tears during the speech, according to the report.
Highlighting 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 coronavirus pandemic and expressed his desire to improve relations with South Korea. He avoided any direct criticisms at Washington D.C.
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.
Post the parade, South Korea Sunday expressed concerns and once again urged N. Korea to abide by its previous disarmament pledges. “North Korea unveiled weapons including what was suspected to be a new long-range ballistic missile,” South Korean Defence Ministry said in a statement. The statement also reminded N. Korea to stick to its 2018 inter-Korean deals aimed at lowering animosities.
South Korea’s Foreign Ministry in a separate statement urged its neighbour to return to talks aimed at achieving denuclearization and peace in the Korean peninsula.