North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un reportedly broke down in tears on Saturday as he gave an emotional speech during a massive military parade that was meant to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country’s founding.
The New York Post reported that Kim was unable to hold back tears as he thanked the “great people” of North Korea for “zero” cases of coronavirus, a claim that experts around the world have said is dubious at best.
“I wish good health to all the people around the world who are fighting the ills of the evil virus,” Kim said.
David Maxwell, a North Korea specialist at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, was not buying Kim’s tears, however.
“I wouldn’t be duped by Kim’s emotions,” Maxwell said. “The bottom line is that this parade was to demonstrate military capabilities and to lay the groundwork for future blackmail diplomacy against South Korea and the US for concessions after the November elections.”
During the parade, which is the biggest one North Korea has had in years, Kim unveiled various new strategic weapons, including a new intercontinental ballistic missile that is capable of reaching the United States. While speaking at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, Kim warned that he would “fully mobilize” his country’s nuclear force if threatened by any foreign power.
However, experts noticed that Kim’s speech was much less aggressive than many of his previous ones, as he refrained from directly criticizing the U.S. at any time.
“I don’t think he wants to embarrass Trump before the election,” explained Sean King, an Asian specialist at Park Strategies. “He’s showing he has the ICBM but he’s not testing it because Trump has made clear that an ICBM or another nuclear test is his red line.”
“Trump is the only US president who will ever sit with a North Korean leader. Trump is pretty good for Kim and Kim has a lot invested in Trump,” King added. “If Biden wins, Kim would have to start all over.”
Other weapons that Kim showcased during his speech included a submarine-launched ballistic missile and North Korea’s version of Russia’s Iskander short-range ballistic missile. Tens of thousands of people attended the parade, with none of them wearing masks.