The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Choe Pu Il said the responsibility for the accident rests with him as he failed to uphold well the Workers' Party of Korea's policy of love for the people. He repented of himself, saying that he failed to find out factors that can put at risk the lives and properties of the people and to take thorough-going measures, thereby causing an unimaginable accident.
He made a firm pledge to make sure that the Ministry of People's Security becomes a genuine security organ which always protects the interests, lives and properties of the people, true to the party's noble intention of putting the popular masses above all.
A second General from the Ministry, who apologized, admitted that he was chiefly to blame because he was in charge of the construction.
Comment: North Korean media have not published the numbers of the dead and injured, but they must be significant to warrant a public apology. The only reason the North's leaders have ever apologized in public in this fashion - and they have on rare occasions - is to control damage so as to avert a worse crisis. Disgraced leaders apologize prior to punishment.
The event appears staged in that the family members stood at attention in their best attire. The so-called family members showed no signs of wailing, which would be normal even in North Korea.
Several points are noteworthy. The apologies of senior officials signify unusual public accountability. Some or all of them will be punished, possibly by execution.
Secondly, in North Korea, people's security includes safe construction and accident prevention. They are also the responsibility of the national police authority, which is the Ministry of People's Security.
Finally, the collapse is a huge embarrassment, which bodes ill for those responsible. North Korea only admits flaws in its system when it absolutely must, although construction methods are slipshod and standards are not enforced. This accident must have threatened riots in the capital.
Vietnam: Update. China has sent five ships to Vietnam to evacuate Chinese nationals. Vietnam ordered strict population controls to prevent a repeat of last week's deadly anti-Chinese riots.
India: The election officials released the final vote count from the general elections last Friday. The Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 282 seats in parliament. The incumbent Congress Party won 44. The BJP won ten more seats than required to govern without a coalition.
Comment: The Congress sustained it worst electoral loss since independence.
Narendra Modi, the longtime Chief Minister of Gujarat State, will become the next prime minister. He campaigned on a platform of pro-business policies, of economic growth and prosperity, and in favor of globalization. Traditionally, the BJP has advanced Hindu interests at the expense of other religions and minorities. It is generally hostile to Muslims; prepared to destroy mosques that infringe on sacred Hindu land; and sometimes has incited violent attacks against minorities, especially Muslims.
His government will be tougher in handling Pakistan and China than the outgoing Congress government has been. That does not necessarily mean relations will be strained, but they will be more distant. However, a sensational terrorist attack traced to Pakistan, such as the Mumbai bombings in November 2008, would risk war, under a BJP government.
Ukraine: Security. The so-called command of the People's Army of Kramatorsk, in the Donetsk Oblast, said it beat back an attack by the Ukrainian National Guard.
"We have rebuffed the National Guard soldiers' attack. No information is available about our casualties yet," a spokesman for the Kramatorsk People's Army command said.
The Kyiv regime's Interior Ministry claimed the National Guard repelled a militia attack against a "base" near Slovyansk.
In Luhansk, separatists took control of the regional police headquarters through a negotiated surrender. This was the last administration building in Luhansk that remained under the control of Kyiv regime loyalists.