The big news out of North Korea this past weekend was Saturday’s military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party wherein Pyongyang showcased a previously unseen new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), as well as what appeared to be domestic-built anti-air defense systems akin to Russian S-400s.
But now with more footage and official translations hitting international press on Monday, a rare and somewhat bizarre clip of the moment Kim Jong Un shed tears in an emotional speech which included an apology to North Korean citizens is going viral.
Notably he underscored multiple times the official claim of “zero” coronavirus cases in his country while taking a moment to sincerely wish a rapid recovery for those suffering from the virus in South Korea.
He also expressed a desire for the people of the North and South “to hold hands sometime in the near future.”
But it is when he went through a litany of the north’s own suffering and hardships that he began to visibly get choked up. The dictator fought back more tears as he said:
“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,” the 36-year-old leader declared, according to a translation published 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.”
“I am ashamed that I have never been able to repay you properly for your enormous trust,” Kim continued in the ultra-rare moment of emotional vulnerability.
“My efforts and devotion were not sufficient to bring our people out of difficult livelihoods.”
Amid the emotion he emphasized that among huge challenges facing the nation remain that “everything is in short supply” due to the “harsh and prolonged sanctions”.
The display of emotion appeared to deeply touch the massive primarily military crowd, as some military officers in uniform were seen teary-eyed.
Apologies, tears and a ‘war deterrent’: Top quotes from Kim Jong Un’s speech – https://t.co/rtantfBq3f
— NK NEWS (@nknewsorg) October 12, 2020
But he quickly pivoted to saying “We clarify that our war deterrent is being developed not for aiming at others” but “in order to defend ourselves”.
According to speculation in Fox News, “Analysts have since pointed to the emotional outpouring as evidence of mounting pressure on the regime, which not only includes the pandemic but natural disasters and international sanctions.”