August 13, 2022

Why Kim Jong Un ditched the classic New Years speech and penned a tender letter

Experts believe the North Korean leader has little to say after his country suffered a remarkably hard year

The first day of the year in North Korea usually starts with Kim Jong Un delivering his iconic new year’s address on state television. But in 2021, Kim strayed from the usual path and replaced the remarks with a short hand-written letter addressed to his people, humbly vowing to “always remain faithful” to them.

It’s the second year in a row that Kim has skipped a New Years speech, and experts say it’s a sign that North Korea wants to focus the world’s eyes on a politically-important event that could take place any day now: The Eighth Party Congress. That’s where Kim is expected to unveil a new five-year economic plan and other roadmaps for the DPRK and the future.