North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

Pyongyang Spring Arts Festival Opens

DPRK performing artists and participants at the 30th Spring Friendship Arts Festival, held in conjunction with celebrations for late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so'ng, gather outside the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on March 11, 2016 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

DPRK performing artists and participants at the 30th April Spring Friendship Arts Festival, held in conjunction with celebrations for late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so’ng, gather outside the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on March 11, 2016 (Photo: Rodong Sinmun).

The 30th annual April Spring Friendship Arts Festival opened at East Pyongyang Grand Theater on April 11 (Monday).  It will consist of a variety of performances at different theaters in and around Pyongyang, until April 17.  Festival participants were greeted outside the venue by schoolchildren presenting floral bouquets and a series of lively street performances by DPRK artists.  Attending the ceremony were Yang Hyong Sop (Vice President of the Supreme People’s Assembly [SPA] Presidium), Kim Yong Jin (DPRK Vice Premier), Pak Chun Nam (Minister of Culture), Cha Hui Rim (Chairman of the Pyongyang City People’s Committee), various culture and arts officials and functionaries, DPRK citizens, overseas Korean groups and foreign diplomatic and defense attache personnel stationed in the DPRK.

Overview of the East Pyongyang Grand Theater, the venue for the opening ceremony for the 30th April Spring Arts Festival (Photo: KCNA).

Overview of the East Pyongyang Grand Theater, the venue for the opening ceremony for the 30th April Spring Friendship Arts Festival (Photo: KCNA).

DPRK Minister of Culture Pak Chun Nam speaks at the opening ceremony (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

DPRK Minister of Culture Pak Chun Nam speaks at the opening ceremony (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Pak Chun Nam, who chairs the festival’s organizing committee, said that “the festival has promoted friendship, solidarity, exchange and cooperation among countries and nations and contributed to human culture by giving successful performances with songs praising the great men (Kim Il-so’ng and Kim Cho’ng-il) and songs of independence, peace and friendship” and he expressed his “belifed that the participants of the festival would proudly show the excellent cultural tradition and development of arts in their countries and nations, deepen friendship and swap precious successes through the performances.”

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (3rd right) attends the arts festival's opening ceremony (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

SPA Presidium Vice President Yang Hyong Sop (3rd right) attends the arts festival’s opening ceremony (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Cuba's Vice Minister of Culture Kenelma Carvajal Pérez speaks at the arts festival's opening event in Pyongyang on April 11, 2016 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Cuba’s Vice Minister of Culture Kenelma Carvajal Pérez speaks at the arts festival’s opening event in Pyongyang on April 11, 2016 (Photo: KCNA screen grab).

Kenelma Carvajal Pérez, Cuba’s Vice Minister of Culture, said “Cuban artistes have traditionally taken part in the festival with friendship” and according to KCNA she expressed the “will to contribute to the development of the relations between the two countries through exchanges in [the] art field.”  Other foreign meeting participants noted it would pay tribute to late DPRK President and founder Kim Il-so’ng.  After the speaking program, DPRK artists gave a performance.

Performances by DPRK artists at the opening ceremony for the 30th Spring Friendship Arts Festival at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on March 11, 2016 (Photos: KCNA).

Performances by DPRK artists at the opening ceremony for the 30th April Spring Friendship Arts Festival at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater on March 11, 2016 (Photos: KCNA).

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