Jong-Un was speaking at a massive military parade in Pyongyang to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Worker’s party, when he removed his glasses to wipe away tears as he spoke to the assembled crowd.
“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,” a translation of his statement read.
“I am really sorry for that,” he added.
Experts say that the rare display of emotion might be evidence that he is facing mounting pressure as the leader of the country.
“Underneath his message, one can sense that Kim is feeling a lot of pressure on his leadership,” said Hong Min, who directs the North Korean division at the Korean Institute for National Unification.
“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.”
North Korea has been slammed by typhoons and flooding, combined with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, though the leader continues to claim that there hasn’ been a single case of COVID-19 within its borders.
In addition to that, its economy has been facing challenges after trade sanctions took effect. North Korea closed its borders with China — its biggest trading partner — in the wake of the pandemic.
While the parade was primarily aimed at displaying the country’s military might, he told the assembled crowd that the region was looking at “grave challenges” and “unprecedented disasters.” He also expressed a desire to improve relations with South Kora and offered his thoughts to those around the world suffering from COVID-19.
Meanwhile, much of the media focus was placed on the massive new missile, which might be one of the largest in the world. Jong-Un promised to use the weapon if he felt it was necessary, though he didn’t make any specific threats against the United States.
In response, one American official said that they were disappointed that Jong-Un was still developing nuclear and ballistic missiles despite what President Donald Trump has described as progress in shutting down their nuclear program.