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(LEAD) N.K. holds performance to celebrate party congress, no mention of military parade

North Korea 07:14 January 14, 2021

(ATTN: RECASTS headline; ADDS more info throughout, photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 14 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has attended a mass art performance held to celebrate the recently concluded party congress, state media said Thursday.

The performance took place on Wednesday, a day after the North wrapped up the eighth congress of its ruling Workers' Party, which was held for more than a week since its opening on Jan. 5, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"The grand art performance 'We Sing of the Party' took place with splendor in celebration of the 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on January 13," KCNA said.

The event included mass gymnastics, an orchestra, a chorus and dance accompanied by "three dimension multimedia" and lighting, it added.

The performance was attended by Kim and other senior officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, the North's No. 2 leader and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly. Jo Yong-won, a senior party official who is believed to have jumped to the country's No. 3 position at the party congress, also attended the performance.

KCNA did not mention whether it held a military parade after the congress.

On Tuesday, the North said it invited officials and others long involved in government affairs as special guests to "celebrations," raising the possibility that North Korea might be preparing a military parade.

Earlier, Seoul's military officials said signs were detected that the North carried out a military parade in central Pyongyang on Sunday night, but state media did not report on such an event, spawning speculation that it might have been a rehearsal.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) attends the sixth day of the eighth congress of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang on Jan. 10, 2021, in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. During the congress, North Korea endorsed Kim as the party's general secretary, following its revision of party rules to reinstate the secretariat system that was scrapped in the previous party congress in 2016. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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