World News – US – Analysis: «  I failed  » – Kim Jong Un shows his tearful side in the face of North Korea’s difficulties


SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to shed tears over the weekend as he thanked citizens for their sacrifices, in the most vivid demonstration to date of how he relies on his character as a “man of the people” to tackle the worsening crises in his country

Although the young ruler has cemented his rule over the isolated nation through ruthless purges, North Korean observers say he has also sought to portray himself as a more traditional political leader than his eccentric father, Kim Jong Il

Speaking at a military parade on Saturday, Kim became moved as he paid tribute to the troops for their response to national disasters and preventing a coronavirus outbreak and apologized to citizens for not have raised the standard of living

« Kim’s modesty and straightforwardness, along with her tears and choking, were all very unusual, even for someone who publicly acknowledges her shortcomings and has a well-established pattern of expressiveness, » Rachel said. Minyoung Lee, independent researcher and former North Korean open-source analyst for the US government

The speech, which was clearly carefully crafted to resonate with the national audience, likely cemented Kim’s image as a capable and charismatic leader who also has a human side to him, she said.

Kim – who smiled broadly when huge new ballistic missiles were displayed in the parade – blamed North Korea’s continuing economic woes on international sanctions, the coronavirus crisis and a series of devastating typhoons and floods

Since taking over from his father in 2011, Kim has made economic progress a cornerstone of his agenda He has also met US President Donald Trump, forming an unprecedented personal relationship that included flowery letters

But ambitious plans for international trade, construction projects and other economic measures are stalled in the face of sanctions imposed on its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs

The economy was hit hard again when North Korea closed its borders to almost all traffic due to the pandemic, and summer typhoons caused flooding that further threatened the food supply

« Our people trusted me, as high as the sky and as deep as the sea, but I didn’t always live up to my expectations, » Kim said, appearing to choke on one. given moment « I’m so sorry for that »

Kim said the country’s success in preventing a coronavirus outbreak and addressing other challenges was a « great victory » for citizens

« Our people have always been grateful to our Party, but it is none other than themselves who certainly deserve a salute of gratitude, » he said

Such a focus on citizens was a major departure for such events, where speeches are usually filled with more ideological themes and praise the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, Lee said

Unlike her estranged father, Kim has taken his wife to political heights with foreign leaders, often bends down to kiss children, and mingles with workers in public appearances

Part of that folkloric approach has shaped its public response to the country’s economic challenges, said Benjamin Katzeff Silberstein, a North Korean economics expert at the S-based UC Stimson Center

« Kim has been more personally present and visible at disaster reconstruction and other sites, and he has prioritized a large number of symbolic construction projects designed to show economic progress, » he said. he declared

But despite some early steps towards market adoption, Kim is not a wacky reformer, and his policy prescriptions have tended to draw inspiration from the North Korean playbook developed by his father and granddaughter. -father, state founder Kim Il Sung, said Silberstein

The United Nations says that under Kim, North Korea continued to break fundamental freedoms, maintain political prison camps and strict surveillance of its citizens Kim had her uncle executed, according to media reports. State, and the United States accused its government of using chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate her half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, in 2017, an allegation Pyongyang denied.

Kim last week called on his country to embark on an 80-day « battle for speed » – a campaign to achieve economic goals before a convention in January to decide on a new five-year plan

Such campaigns, which involve citizens doing « voluntary » extra work, have been described by some residents as « one of the most exhausting and irritating parts of everyday life, » said Silberstein. p>

« Kim is for the most part left with tears, apologies, battles of speed and fundraising wherever they are, » he said

All quotes have been delayed by at least 15 minutes See here for a full list of exchanges and delays

North Korea, Kim Jong-un, Workers’ Party of Korea, military parade, South Korea

News from the world – United States – Analysis: « I failed « – Kim Jong Un shows tearful side in the face of North Korea’s difficulties



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