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N. Korea opens annual Arirang mass performance

Published on Aug 2, 2012 10:11 AM

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has opened an annual festival featuring tens of thousands of performers praising the ruling Kim dynasty, amid reports this year's Arirang event will be the last.

The festival began on Wednesday evening at Pyongyang's May Day Stadium with a display of "music, dances, gymnastics, acrobatics and ever-changing background", the official news agency reported on Wednesday night.

The extravaganza, named after a famous Korean folk song, involves artists including young children performing synchronised acrobatics, dances and flip-card displays of politicised messages.

The impoverished communist state has drawn thousands of Chinese and other foreign tourists to the festival, which began in 2002 and became an annual event in 2007.

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