KIM Jong-un appears to be in a better mood as he was pictured beaming days after issuing a tearful apology to North Koreans for their hardships.
The dictator was pictured touring new homes as his impoverished country recovers from a hard-hitting typhoon season which devastated many towns and villages.
Kim Jong-un beams as he inspects new homes[/caption]
Kim Jong-un with his cronies checks out the new neighbourhood[/caption]
North Korean state media reported he visited South Hamgyong province as his officials revealed new homes built following the devastation.
Kim had ordered some 300,000 soldiers to rebuild the area after it was heavily impacted by Typhoon Haishen.
The storm lashed the Korean Peninsula with winds up to 155mph.
It was estimated to have caused some $100million damage across the region, with major destruction expected to have taken place in the already struggling North Korea.
The ruthless ruler boasted the success of the project, saying his forces overcame difficult conditions to finish construction.
North Korea is believed to have been stretched to breaking point in 2020, suffering from the bad weather which led to widespread flood and damage.
Storms combined with the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing international sanctions to push the country to the brink.
And in a rare show of emotion at a massive military parade last Saturday, Kim ended up sobbing as he issued a tearful apology to his 26million subjects.
Speaking at the military parade which marked the 75th anniversary of North Korea’s ruling Communist Party, he said: “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.
“I am really sorry for that.”
Invoking the country’s previous leaders, Kim continued; “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.”
Kim Jong-un surveys an area hit by typhoons[/caption]
North Korea has been ravaged by typhoons[/caption]
Kim Jong-un is attempted to rebuild[/caption]
Kim was last week pictured touring areas which had been damaged by the storms along with his usual entourage of cronies.
He was seen surveying the shattered windows and ongoing repairs as he continues to cultivate his image as a benevolent leader to his people.
Experts told The Sun Online his tearful speech is likely to be a ploy to try and deflect from the increasingly dire situation in North Korea.
And one even said it may be because Kim knows his position could be at risk from his own disillusioned people unless he starts to deliver on his promises.
Dr Ramon Pacheco-Pardo, an associate professor in international relations at King’s College London, told The Sun Online that Kim is aware the biggest threat to his position comes from the North Korea’s own population.
He said: “Kim understands if he wants to continue in power, he has to deliver on his promises.
“He promised the North Korean population wouldn’t have to tighten then belts – and then earlier this year he had to say ‘you will have to’.”
Kim Jong-un inspects reconstruction efforts [/caption]
Kim Jong-un speaks to his entourage [/caption]
The expert explained while regime change will not be in the “short term, or even the mid term”, Kim will be fearful of any challenges to his rule coming from inside North Korea.
The impoverished nation plows cash into nuclear missiles – but as much as 60 per cent of the nation live in absolutely poverty, according to a study by Vienna University.
Its wealth per person is estimated to be around £608 – in the UK it is around £31,000 – while the North Korean elite are believed to live extraordinary lives of luxury.
Dr Pacheco-Pardo told The Sun Online: “If you look at dictators around the world, when they are removed from power it happens internally rather than externally.
“Kim knows the US cannot invade – that’s unthinkable with his nuclear deterrent.
“It’s likely to come from the people. Any challenge to his position would be internal.”
The professor went on that he believes Kim’s tearful speech is part of his ongoing effort to portray himself as a “man of the people” for North Korea.
North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world[/caption]
Kim Jong-un had pledged to improve North Korea’s economy [/caption]
Edward Howell, a researcher in International Relations at the University of Oxford, told The Sun Online that Kim is likely to see “big challenges going forward” unless he balances the books.
Mr Howell went on: “The failure the deliver economic development is quite potent, and that may have influenced his response.”
Cristina Varriale, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Sun Online she questioned whether Kim was really feeling pressure – saying he was merely seeking “legitimate cover” for his failures.
She added: “Ultimately, he has brought it about by wanting to develop nuclear weapons and missiles.”
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And while Kim wept, it was his new 26 metre missile, believed to be one of the world’s largest of its kind, that attracted the world’s attention.
US President Donald Trump is said to be “angry” that Kim choose to unveil the weapon, which is believed to have range to strike the entirety of the mainland US.
North Korea and the US had been attempting to warm up relations, but progress has stalled since talks collapsed in 2019.
During his speech, Kim said the missiles weren’t targeted at any country in particular – as he attempted to keep hopes of a diplomatic solution alive.