ad info




CNN.com
 MAIN PAGE
 WORLD
   africa
   americas
   asianow
   europe
   middle east
 U.S.
 LOCAL
 POLITICS
 WEATHER
 BUSINESS
 SPORTS
 TECHNOLOGY
 NATURE
 ENTERTAINMENT
 BOOKS
 TRAVEL
 FOOD
 HEALTH
 STYLE
 IN-DEPTH

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

  CNN WEB SITES:
CNN Websites
 TIME INC. SITES:
 MORE SERVICES:
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines
 pointcast

 DISCUSSION:
 message boards
 chat
 feedback

 SITE GUIDES:
 help
 contents
 search

 FASTER ACCESS:
 europe
 japan

 WEB SERVICES:

 

World - Asia/Pacific

N. Korea tries mass spectacles to catch visitors' attention

stadium
Thousands of people gathered in a North Korean stadium to call for the reunification of the Korea Peninsula

VIDEO
CNN's Mike Chinoy takes a rare look at life in North Korea
Windows Media 28K 80K

CNN's Mike Chinoy reports from Pyongyang on the latest diplomatic moves
Real 28K 80K
Windows Media 28K 80K
 ALSO:
North Korea demonstrates openness to wary neighbors

 

August 13, 1999
Web posted at: 8:12 p.m. EDT (0012 GMT)

From Hong Kong Bureau Chief Mike Chinoy

PYONGYANG, North Korea (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of people filled a stadium in North Korea's capital on Friday, calling for reunification of the Korea Peninsula.

A crowd of more than 100,000 danced, chanted slogans and sang songs for national unification, reported the North's international news outlet, the Korean Central News Agency.

Participants also watched a second soccer match between North Korean and South Korean workers. The two teams played to a 4-4 draw.

South Korea called Friday's rally an orchestrated spectacle by the reclusive Stalinist government to spread propaganda against South Korea and the United States.

For those few international observers and journalists who have been allowed to visit North Korea, the rally was typical fare.

CNN Hong Kong Bureau Chief Mike Chinoy, in his latest visit to the Communist North, said he and other CNN representatives had been treated to a full schedule off mass rallies and sports events, interspersed with unsolicited meetings with people who could reinforce Pyongyang's current political theme.

For example: A group of women who say they were forced to serve as sex slaves for Japanese soldiers in World War II, echoing a demand for Japanese war reparations.

Or a gathering of international leftists, supporting Pyongyang's call for South Korea to tear down a wall along the Korean demilitarized zone.

"So much of what a visitor does see here is so choreographed that many things remain unclear," Chinoy said. "Even on this, my eleventh visit, understanding North Korea remains a daunting challenge."

Chinoy said his CNN crew had been allowed to talk with North Korean officials about headline issues, including North Korea's continuing famine, or the North's missile program.

But the officials have been much more interested in showcasing their mass extravaganzas, Chinoy said, such as the reunification rally and soccer match -- elaborate theatrics that send a signal that North Korea remains a power to be reckoned with.



RELATED STORIES:
North Korea demonstrates openness to wary neighbors
August 13, 1999
Two Koreas meet on soccer field as engagement grows
August 12, 1999
North Korea brings Japan war atrocities into diplomatic row
August 11, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Korean Central News Agency
North Korea: Information
Korea Government Homepage
North Korea Report
North Korea: Politics & Government
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

 LATEST HEADLINES:
SEARCH CNN.com
Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.