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N. Korea to stage massive gymnastic shows this month to celebrate national holiday

All News 12:00 October 10, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea will stage its signature massive gymnastic shows this month to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party despite its nationwide antivirus campaign, a propaganda website reported Saturday.

The gymnastic propaganda shows will be put on stage from Monday through the end of this month at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on the occasion of the party founding anniversary that falls on Saturday, according to Meari.

The performances are known as a major propaganda tool for the North, involving praise for its leaders and tens of thousands of people joining massive, synchronized displays of gymnastics and dance.

Earlier this year, a Beijing-based tour agency said that North Korea had informed the company of its plans to hold the gymnastic propaganda show in time for the party founding anniversary.

Observers, however, had expected the North to cancel the planned shows in consideration of the country's all-out efforts to stave off an outbreak of COVID-19.

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has imposed strict restrictions on the movement of people and maintained tight border closure since early this year.

This month's shows appear intended to consolidate internal unity and call for loyalty for the North's leadership in the face of multiple challenges confronting the country, including recent typhoon damage and crippling global sanctions.

The North staged the Arirang show from 2002-2013, and after a five-year hiatus, the renamed "Glorious Country" mass games were held in 2018. Last year, the North held the "People's Country" mass games.

This file photo shows a scene of North Korea's Arirang festival at the May 1 Stadium in Pyongyang. The annual massive gymnastics and arts festival began on July 22, 2013, and ended on Sept. 30, the North's Korean Central Broadcasting TV Station reported on Oct. 1. (Yonhap)

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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