North Korea Cancels Festivals Held on Kim Jong Il’s Birthday Due to Coronavirus

Two significant nationwide festivals that are held every year in Pyongyang on the late leader Kim Jong Il’s birthday on Feb 16 were terminated this year due to anxieties of the feasible spread of the unique coronavirus, RFA has actually found out.

The birthday of the precursor as well as dad of present leader Kim Jong Un came to be a vacation when Kim Jong Il was accountable of the nation. After he died in 2011, it came to be referred to as the “Day of the Shining Star.” North Korea calls the birthday on April 15 of the nation’s creator Kim Il Sung (1912-94) the “Day of the Sun.”

The 2 vacations offer to highlight the cult of character bordering the Kim family members.

Preventative gauges the federal government has actually taken control of the previous couple of weeks have actually led numerous North Korea viewers to guess that the infection has actually currently gotten in the nation, which has actually not reported any kind of situations. South Korean media has actually also reported that numerous individuals in North Korea have actually passed away from COVID-19, the condition brought on by the SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Whether the federal government is bewaring or responsive can not be verified, yet the termination of the festivals shows that the federal government is incredibly stressed.

“The Mt. Paektu Prize Sports Festival and the February Spring Arts Festival, which are huge national events were cancelled due to the recent coronavirus outbreak,” a local of Pyongyang informed RFA’s Korean Service today.

Named after the Korean Peninsula’s greatest optimal, a spiritual spots in Korean society, theMt Paektu Prize Sports Festival resembles a mini-Olympics in North Korea, in which rivals are granted theMt Paektu Prize for winning among 30 occasions.

“[The festival] started in 1977 as well as has actually proceeded annually up until this year. It’s the very first time in 43 years that it has actually been terminated,” the resource stated.

The termination of this occasion belongs to terminating the Super Bowl in the UnitedStates The resource stated that the celebration attracts the interest of sporting activities followers across the country due to the fact that just the elite gamers as well as groups that have actually endured local preliminaries are welcomed to complete versus each various other in Pyongyang throughout the celebration.

“As the brand-new coronavirus circumstance came to be a lot more major, the initial ready the celebration were held without viewers. But currently the professional athletes that made the right to complete in Pyongyang are irritated that the Central Committee [of the Korean Workers’ Party] terminated the whole occasion,” the resource stated.

Another Pyongyang resident informed RFA Monday that the termination of both festivals has actually made North Koreans recognize that the coronavirus circumstance is major.

“Fear of the new coronavirus is growing among Pyongyang residents,” the 2nd resource stated.

The 2nd resource stated that the February Spring Arts Festival is a nationwide efficiency arts competition that has actually been occurring annually because 1974.

“Every year the final round of the arts festival is held in Pyongyang, showcasing the talents of the best artists from each province,” the resource stated, including, “It’s a great spectacle for everyone,” the 2nd resource stated.

According to the 2nd resource, Kim Jong Un himself had actually been preparing to go to the celebration on this year’s Day of the Shining Star, now that will not occur due to the coronavirus.

“Artists who were selected for the finals after besting the fierce competition in their home region are very disappointed with the sudden cancellation.”

Reported by Jieun Kim for RFA’s KoreanService Translated by LeejinJun Written in English by Eugene Whong.

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