Arab Today, arab today n korea begins showcase arirang festival
Last Updated : GMT 07:01:29
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N. Korea begins showcase Arirang festival

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Arab Today, arab today N. Korea begins showcase Arirang festival

Seoul - AFP

North Korea has launched its annual Arirang festival featuring mass games and artistic performances praising the communist regime and the ruling Kim dynasty, state media said.The extravaganza, which began in 2002, usually involves tens of thousands including children performing synchronised acrobatics, dances and flip-card displays of politicised messages. This year\'s event opened in the May Day Stadium in the capital Pyongyang on Monday evening with the stadium turning into \"a huge sea of cheering performers and dancers\", the official news agency said late Monday.The event featured \"fascinating art in three-dimensional space, a perfect combination of modern sound and lighting effect, electronic displays... and dynamic gymnastics (with an) ever-changing background,\" it said.The flip-card slogans lauded late founding president Kim Il-Sung and his son and current leader Kim Jong-Il, it said.The show was first introduced to mark the 90th anniversary of Kim Il-Sung\'s birth but was not staged in 2003, 2004 or 2006. No reason was given but the country was severely hit by floods in some of those years.The festival went ahead despite adverse weather this summer.A storm and heavy rain over the last two months left dozens of people dead, injured or missing, while thousands more are homeless, state media said Monday.In 2009 the festival -- named after a Korean folk song -- drew about 1.4 million people from home and abroad, according to official media.The impoverished state, where hundreds of thousands died in a famine in the 1990s, suffers from severe food and energy shortages.This year Pyongyang pleaded with the US and other nations for food as international aid dwindled, partly due to concerns over its nuclear programmes and tensions on the Korean peninsula.

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