Seoul, Oct 12 (efe-epa).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a mass games in Pyongyang marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, state media reported.
This edition of the games bore the slogan Great Guidance and as is customary it glorified the Kim dynasty that has ruled the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since it was established.
Kim Jong-un, grandson of the country’s founder Kim Il-Sung, this year had to confront the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic on an already threadbare economy in what is one of the world’s most secretive nations.
Thousands of students took part in the mass games, performing highly choreographed routines and gymnastic displays honoring the country’s leadership.
Kim was joined by heavyweights of his regime such as Choe Ryong-hae and Pak Pong-Ju as well as Ri Pyong-chol, the head of North Korea’s missile program.
Photographs published by the official newspaper Rodong Sinmun showed that members of the public gathered at the May Day Stadium, which has the capacity for 114,000 spectators, were wearing face masks but that the protective gear was sparse in the stalls reserved for the authorities, including Kim.
Kim’s regime insists it has not detected a single Covid-19 case in its population but has imposed controls, such as face mask use and the closure of its borders to all foreigners.
During the military parade on Saturday, hardly anyone in the crowd wore a mask.
Sometimes referred to as the hermit kingdom, North Korea is a one party authoritarian state renowned for its secrecy.
It shares a border with South Korea, which is officially known as the demilitarized zone. The two countries are technically still at war, having never signed a peace treaty. EFE-EPA