New North Korea commemorative stamps depict mass games

North Korea’s mass games can take a toll on its performers and raise concerns of rights abuses, according to activists. Photo by Pyongyang Press Corps

Sept. 22 (UPI) — North Korea has issued a series of commemorative stamps that include images of the mass games held to mark the country’s 70th anniversary.

Pyongyang’s KCNA reported Thursday the individual stamps bear the mark of the “Shining Fatherland.” One stamp shows an image of a North Korean dancer dressed as a dove engaging in the “dove dance,” while another shows a dancer with a traditional Korean drum. A third stamp shows athletes at the mass games.

North Korea’s mass games are an iconic art form that is performed by tens of thousands of people working in precise unison. The event takes months of preparation and was suspended for several years after Kim Jong Un fully assumed power in 2012.

North Korea has brought the event back to the public in 2018, and performers of the “Arirang” mass games were included on South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s itinerary during the third inter-Korea summit in Pyongyang.

Moon was at the Rungrado 1st of May Stadium on Wednesday to observe the games with Kim Jong Un, a move that could have sparked concerns in Seoul.

Newsis reported Friday the presidential Blue House said the games had “changed by 70 percent,” and that the Kim regime omitted performances related to North Korea ideology.

“According to senior North Korean officials, the performance [this week] was 70 percent different from the ‘Shining Fatherland’ performance on Sept. 9,” when North Korea celebrated its 70th anniversary, said South Korean spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

The Blue House could be appeasing concerns Moon’s visit to the stadium was controversial, according to Newsis. The games have raised concerns about human rights abuses among activists.

Moon is to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump next week in New York.


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