Arirang Love (Video)

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Although I don’t quite understand why the spectacle of Nuremberg-like mass formations at the Arirang Games are any different from the bloated spectacles at the Olympics, I reserve a special revulsion for the North Korean variant. But, who could ridicule pandas?

North Korea’s Arirang mass games opened Monday evening in Pyongyang, with about 100,000 people, ranging from schoolchildren to professional artists, taking part in the gymnastics and artistic spectacle.

A new part dubbed “Friendship Arirang” was added to the performance, stressing Pyongyang’s friendly ties with China following leader Kim Jong Il’s visit to the country in May.

Although I don’t quite understand why the spectacle of Nuremberg-like mass formations at the Arirang Games are any different from the bloated spectacles at the Olympics, I reserve a special revulsion for the North Korean variant. But, who could ridicule pandas?

North Korea’s Arirang mass games opened Monday evening in Pyongyang, with about 100,000 people, ranging from schoolchildren to professional artists, taking part in the gymnastics and artistic spectacle.

A new part dubbed “Friendship Arirang” was added to the performance, stressing Pyongyang’s friendly ties with China following leader Kim Jong Il’s visit to the country in May.

Performers formed human letters spelling out “deep-rooted (North) Korea-China friendship” and “eternal (North) Korea-China friendship together with the blue water of the Yalu River” on the western border between the two countries.

Others danced in panda costumes and Chinese ethnic costumes holding Chinese-style drums.

About 23,000 spectators watched the opening performance at the May Day Stadium, according to organizers.

Senior North Korean officials including Yang Hyong Sop, a vice president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and Vice Premier Kang Nung Su, watched the performance, the Korean Central News Agency reported. But it did not report Kim’s attendance.

Why not just ban both the Olympics and Arirang? Still, such a display of pro-Chinese sentiment is unusual for the Juche-revering North Koreans, but not unexpected. At least, the North Koreans have recognized the value of an alliance with a neighboring state.

Filed under: East Asia, Korea, Sports Tagged: arirang games, china, dprk, north korea, olympics, prc, the rachel maddow show



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