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No Annual Address? Kim Jong-un Marks New Year by Sending Letter to All North Koreans

© REUTERSIn this image made from video broadcasted by North Korea's KRT on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a ceremony to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party in Pyongyang
In this image made from video broadcasted by North Korea's KRT on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a ceremony to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party in Pyongyang - Sputnik International
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The supreme leader of North Korea usually gives a televised address to the nation every 1 January to celebrate New Year's Eve, but this year he's resorted to something that hasn't been seen for more than two decades.

DPRK’s head Kim Jong-un has extended his “heartfelt greetings” to fellow North Koreans in a handwritten note, which was published on the front page of the Rodong Sinmun newspaper – the official paper of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea – according to US-based outlet NK News.

In the letter, which has reportedly been sent to all of the country’s 25 million people, Kim Jong-un thanks citizens for trusting and supporting the Communist Party during "difficult times.”

“I sincerely hope that all the families of the country will be blessed with more precious happiness and reverentially wish for good health and welfare of the beloved people,” he reportedly wrote.

“In the New Year, too, I will work hard to bring earlier the new era in which the ideals and desires of our people will come true,” Kim promised.

© REUTERS / Jon Chol JinPeople look at news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked his people at Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
No Annual Address? Kim Jong-un Marks New Year by Sending Letter to All North Koreans - Sputnik International
People look at news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked his people at Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
© REUTERS / Jon Chol JinA woman looks at news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked his people at Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
No Annual Address? Kim Jong-un Marks New Year by Sending Letter to All North Koreans - Sputnik International
A woman looks at news that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un thanked his people at Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang, North Korea, Friday, Jan., 1, 2021

According to Seoul's Unification Ministry, the last time a similar overarching note was distributed to ordinary citizens was in 1995 during the rule of Kim’s father Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-un’s handwritten greeting comes in the absence of his annual televised speech, which is usually broadcasted on 1 January. Instead, he's widely expected to give another public address during The Workers' Party congress scheduled for early January – the first gathering of such magnitude in five years.

© REUTERS / Jon Chol JinDancers perform during celebrations to mark the New Year, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
No Annual Address? Kim Jong-un Marks New Year by Sending Letter to All North Koreans - Sputnik International
Dancers perform during celebrations to mark the New Year, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
© REUTERS / Jon Chol JinA fireworks display decorates the night sky to celebrate the New Year, as crowds of people look on, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Friday, Jan., 1, 2021
No Annual Address? Kim Jong-un Marks New Year by Sending Letter to All North Koreans - Sputnik International
A fireworks display decorates the night sky to celebrate the New Year, as crowds of people look on, at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Friday, Jan., 1, 2021

The country’s head also marked the start of 2021 by visiting the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the tomb where the remains of his father and grandfather lie under sealed glass.

While Kim was visiting his family’s burial place, ordinary North Koreans gathered in Pyongyang's main square to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a concert, firework display, and a flag waving ceremony.

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