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N. Korea wraps up Arirang gymnastics festival

All Headlines 09:58 October 20, 2009

SEOUL, Oct. 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has wrapped up its Arirang festival, a two month-long mass gymnastics extravaganza, media outlets reported Tuesday.

The festival drew about 1.4 million people from home and abroad since it opened in August at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang, according to the Korean Central Broadcasting Station, a North Korean radio network.

The 80-minute show was held daily except on Sundays after opening on Aug. 10.

North Korea has held the festival, named after the famous Korean folk song, almost annually since 2002. It features synchronized acrobatics, gymnastics, dances and flip-card mosaic animation. Performed by about 100,000 people, it is believed to be the largest gymnastics show in the world.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il watched the show with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao earlier this month when he visited Pyongyang to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the allies forming diplomatic relations. Kim "highly appreciated" the festival, the radio report said.

hkim@yna.co.kr
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