N. Korea announces relaunch of acrobatic, dance and gymnastic performance

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : August 16, 2018, 10:15 | Updated : August 16, 2018, 10:15

[Richard Bett's YouTube channel]


SEOUL -- North Korea has announced the resurrection of a mass acrobatic, dance and gymnastic performance listed in Guinness World Records as the largest event of its kind, putting an end to a five-year hiatus. 

The performance titled "The Glorious Country" will be held at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang from September 9 when North Korea marks the 70th anniversary of its founding, read a notice posted on the website of the country's state tourism body, Korea Tour. It will last until the end of September.

Korea Tour said the ticket price ranges from 100 euros ($113) to 800 euros, but it did not mention the name of Arirang used for North Korea's annual festival which was suspended in 2014 for unknown reasons.

The notice was posted on August 13 when the two Koreas agreed to hold the third summit between their leaders in September in Pyongyang. The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said the next summit would not take place before September 10, citing Pyongyang's internal political events.

This year, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has taken a series of peace overtures, including a high-profile summit with Moon in April in the truce village of Panmunjom and his trip to Singapore in May for talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Traditionally, the festival has opened with the mass games framed for huge mosaic pictures created by tens of thousands of school children, each holding up colored cards in a card stunt, accompanied by complex and highly choreographed group routines performed by gymnasts and dancers.

The extravaganza has been a crucial propaganda tool to eulogize the Kim dynasty, unfolding an epic story of how North Korea ended the history of distress and rose as a dignified nation. It has also helped the cash-strapped country earn hard foreign currency.

In 2007, the Arirang mass games were recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest gymnastic display with about 100,000 participants. Arirang, a lyrical folk song, has been used by the two Koreas as their unofficial national anthem in joint sports and cultural events.
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