Kim Jong-un sends North Koreans rare New Year's cards, thanks them

WION Web Team
Pyongyang, North Korea Published: Jan 01, 2021, 09:11 AM(IST)

Kim Jong-un Photograph:( AFP )

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Kim usually gives a televised speech on January 1, but he is widely expected to skip the speech this year since he will address the country's first ruling party congress in five years sometime in early January.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un thanked the public for their trust and support "in the difficult times" and wished them happiness and good health in his first and rare New Year's Day cards sent to his people.

Kim usually gives a televised speech on January 1, but he is widely expected to skip the speech this year since he will address the country's first ruling party congress in five years sometime in early January.

"I will work hard to bring earlier the new era in which the ideals and desires of our people will come true," Kim said in his letter, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"I offer thanks to the people for having invariably trusted and supported our party even in the difficult times," he said.

"I sincerely wish all the families across the country greater happiness and beloved people, good health."

North Korea is one of the world's most cloistered countries, and it's virtually impossible to independently confirm whether its 25 million people received Kim's cards. The cards reportedly were the first a leader sent to North Koreans since 1995.

Kim, who succeeded his father as North Korean leader in 2011, is facing the toughest challenges of his nine-year rule due to the pandemic, several natural disasters last summer and the stalemate over US-led sanctions and his nuclear weapons programme.

Marking the new year's start, a large crowd of people packed Pyongyang's main square to watch fireworks, a concert and a flag-hoisting ceremony. State TV showed the people, wearing masks and heavy coats, waved their hands while standing close together.

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