It would seem that with less than three months left, 2020 still has surprises hidden in its sleeves. North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, one of the most powerful men in the entire world, was recorded on international TV to shed tears while delivering a speech during a military event. Not only that, transcripts show that he was apologizing (note, repeatedly) to North Koreans about their sufferings. A steady string of natural calamities and COVID-19 has truly affected the world, even the hermit country of North Korea. All these tears, what could this mean?
Finally, humanizing with his countrymen?
Kim Jong Un came from a family of iron fists. Like his father before him, Kim Jong Un has complete authority when it comes to handling all state affairs in North Korea. This is why it made international news when the fiery, powerful dictator shed tears on national television. But why did he really cry? Many political experts have scrambled to analyze the reason behind his tears. There are many questions in everyone’s minds.
Video by the Telegraph
Is he showing weakness not only to his people but for all leaders all over the world? Is it possible that he is showing a softer heart underneath all that tough exterior? At this point, nobody could TRULY know why he shed tears that day. It could simply be a political trick. On the other hand, with a very slim chance, he could truly be humanizing with the world and his countrymen for all the hardships this year has brought.
A different tactic of leadership
Many experts believe that it was a change of leadership tactic. It is apparent that fear could not hold down people’s thoughts and emotions anymore, unlike his father’s time before him. Right now, more and more people are smuggling thumb drives and radios. These could give people information on things that were barred from their knowledge all these years. This includes food shortages, street children, and the deteriorating economic situation of many families in the rural areas of North Korea. Many North Koreans, especially those in wealthier circles, are just finding out how difficult and miserable some of their countrymen’s lives could be.
Kim Jong Un seems to be changing his image to that of a “people’s man”, instead of a tyrannical dictator people “assume” him to be. Showing that he is empathizing with his countrymen for their hardships could lessen the blame on him. He could blame it on natural calamities and this pandemic, instead of poor leadership.