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Each year North Korea launches the Arirang festival, featuring tens of thousands of performers in a highly choreographed display of patriotism and support for the ruling Kim dynasty.

The festival is inaugurated in Pyongyang’s 150,000-capacity May Day stadium. In 2013 the theme that focused on the 60th anniversary of the armistice suspending hostilities in the 1950-53 Korean War.

The conflict is referred to in North Korea as the “Fatherland Liberation War”, and the signing of the armistice on July 27 is celebrated as “Victory Day”.

The Arirang festival, named after a famous Korean folk song, is an extravaganza of song, dance, rhythmic gymnastics and mass calisthenics.
The show is played out against a constantly changing backdrop provided by an entire bank of the stadium, where participants wield giant flashcards to create complex mosaics with a patriotic flavour.

“Spectacular scenes were presented, depicting heroic soldiers during the Fatherland Liberation War backed by effects of the colourful light rhythms, lighting and flame fireworks,” Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said in its report on Monday’s performance.