North Korean leader Kim Jong Un became visibly moved during a speech at a military parade over the weekend thanking the troops for their sacrifices and apologizing to citizens for not improving their lives.
In a speech on Saturday at the celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of his ruling Workers’ Party, Kim thanked the thousands of soldiers gathered for responding to recent damaging storms and for helping prevent a coronavirus outbreak. in the country.
In video footage edited and broadcast by State TV Channel, Kim appeared in tears and at one point appeared to be choking.
Kim said he was grateful that not a single North Korean had been infected with the virus, a claim that both US and South Korean officials had previously expressed doubts about.
The impact of anti-coronavirus measures, international sanctions and several typhoons combined to prevent the government from delivering on promises to improve the lives of citizens, Kim said.
“My efforts and sincerity were not enough to rid our people of the difficulties of their lives,” he said. “Our people, however, have always believed and absolutely trusted me, and supported my choice and determination, whatever they may be.”
North Korea’s economy, already severely constrained by international sanctions imposed on its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, has suffered a further blow as the country has shut down nearly all border traffic in an effort to prevent a coronavirus epidemic.
The United Nations has said nearly 40 percent of the population faces food shortages, which may have been exacerbated by severe summer flooding and typhoons.
In a scene common to many such events in North Korea, most of the spectators also had tears streaming down their faces.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)