It is not an image that is commonly seen in autocratic and authoritarian leaders, who manage their country’s destinies with an iron fist. It is also not an image that is commonly seen in Kim Jong-un – and perhaps because of that, by surprise, in the audience, faces like yours were seen, equally moved and tearful. This weekend, when talking about the pompous celebrations of the 75th anniversary of his party, the North Korean leader spoke with a more choked voice and tears on his emotional face.
The commotion, whose genuineness is now being discussed, was notorious in a speech that was also unexpectedly emotional and “mea culpa” by Kim Kong-un. North Korea’s far-left leader this time did not opt for a self-celebratory speech, claiming the divine character of the nation and its leadership. Instead, he apologized:
Our people have placed their trust, as high as the sky and as deep as the sea, in me – but I have always failed to live up to it. I am very sorry for that, ”he said, quoted by the Korean Times.
Recalling that the important mission of leading the country (also given “by the trust of all the people”) was passed on by North Korea’s previous leaders – his grandfather Kim Il-sung and his father Kim Kong-il – , Kim jong-un says that his “efforts” and “sincerity” were not “enough to free our people from the difficulties of their lives”.
The contrast was therefore clear between the pompous celebrations, with a military parade that stopped Pyongyang as usual and evoked the threat of the country’s nuclear potential, and the recognition of the problems facing North Korea today, isolated, subject to sanctions. the international community and having to deal with the crisis (at least economic, if not sanitary, since the country insists that it does not have any active cases of infection) resulting from the new coronavirus pandemic.
In South Korea, a country with which North Korea’s relations have been especially hostile and strained, it is now debated whether the moment of shock by the North Korean leader was genuine or whether it was thought to reap the sympathy of the population, as response to possible pressures that the leader of the North Korean regime may be suffering. This was at a time when Kim Jong-Un himself, in his speech this weekend, reached out to South Korea, now seeming to be seeking an ally in the neighboring country.
I hope that this health crisis will come to an end as quickly as possible and that the day will come when the North and the South will be able to hold hands again, ”he said even at the military parade, quoted by the Korean Times.
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