North Korea sang the praises of the ruling party in a two-hour concert extolling its achievements and those of the Kim dynasty that has ruled the country for its entire history.
N. Korea sings praises of ‘motherly’ ruling party after congress
N. Korea sings praises of ‘motherly’ ruling party after congressPyongyang, May 11 2016 (AFP) – North Korea Wednesday sang the praises of the ruling party in a two-hour concert extolling its achievements and those of the Kim dynasty that has ruled the country for its entire history.The show entitled “Always follow our party” was staged to celebrate a Workers’ Party congress, the first for 36 years, which ended Monday. That meeting was widely seen as a coronation for current leader Kim Jong-Un, who took power after the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011 and has been working to claw back power from the military.The concert featured the country’s first all-women group, the Moranbong Band, whose members — clad in white outfits ending above the knee and matching hats — were said to have been chosen by the leader himself. Also featured in the event at a 10,000-seat Pyongyang stadium were the Chongbong Band, formed in 2015, and the military’s State-Merited Chorus.While the Moranbong Band made nods to Western popular musical influences, songs about love referred to love of the party, the country or the ruling family — which are taken to be one and the same. A song entitled “Mother Party” described its love for the people as “higher than the sky, deeper than the sea”. The concert echoed the North’s historical narrative — that it won the 1950-53 Korean War and went on to build a thriving economy in the teeth of adversity.Archive film or computer-generated images projected behind the performers showed smiling Stakhanovite workers achieving miracles of production in industry and construction, or heroic soldiers struggling through snowdrifts.- ‘Nothing to envy’ -There was also footage of recent achievements such as the launch of a rocket which put a satellite in space — an exercise seen in the West as a disguised ballistic missile test.The overarching theme of the performance was the good life the party had given its people, played out in numbers such as “We have nothing to envy in the world” and “Glory to the Workers’ Party of Korea”.Images of golden wheatfields and bountiful rice crops suggested a theme of plenty at odds with the North’s history of famine in the 1990s and the serious food shortages international agencies say continue today. While praising the “motherly party”, the concert also paid tribute to all three members of the ruling dynasty: national founder Kim Il-Sung, his son and successor Kim Jong-Il and the current ruler, whose smiling portrait closed out the event.”We only follow you, no others,” was the title of one song, referring to Kim Jong-Un. Western analysts say the party congress delivered little of political substance, restating Pyongyang’s continued foreign policy of belligerent defiance backed by an expanding nuclear arsenal.But the North has spared no effort to celebrate the event, staging a parade in Kim Il-Sung Square Tuesday, followed the same day by a mass dance and torchlight parade.Party delegates, including several members of the politburo standing committee, made up most of Wednesday’s audience in the auditorium, which was decked out in the party colours of red and gold. END