North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Monday was seen teary-eyed, emotional and choking up in front of a large crowd of his country's citizens and military personnel as he admitted that he had let them down.
In a rare display of emotions, while speaking at a huge military parade held during the weekend to mark the 75th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim took off his glasses to wipe away tears as he addressed his impoverished people who have been left battered by typhoons, the coronavirus pandemic, and sanctions.
Pyongyang however still insists officially it has not had a single confirmed case of the killer virus, which has infected almost every nation worldwide.
"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," the sobbing leader said.
"I am really sorry for that," he added.
North Korea weeps with their leader
Watching their leader cry, the people in the crowd too couldn't resist and tears rolled down their faces but political analysts have commented that Kim's tears were a sign that his leadership has come under pressure, probably due to his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.
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," he told his people.
Kim's rare apology comes as the country continues to be rocked by hardships such as starvation and poverty - despite North Korea's leaders funneling millions into developing nukes. North Korea is notoriously secretive but it is believed the regime is being stretched to the brink with a very tough 2020.
It is believed some 60 percent of North Koreans, around 15 million people, live in absolute poverty, according to a recent study by Vienna University. Its GDP per capita is estimated to be around USD790 - while in the United Kingdom it is around USD41k - despite the extraordinary wealth of Kim and the country's elite.
Typhoons and floods have combined with the coronavirus pandemic, the ongoing famine, and a buckling economy worsened by heavy trade sanctions.
North Korea also was one of the first nations in the world to seal its borders, cutting off essential trade with its key ally China.
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 US mainland.
South Korean bureau Yonhap News Agency reported on Saturday that the United States is in talks with Asian allies about probing the military procession.