North Korea media decries obsolete practices after mass games

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Oct. 28 (UPI) — Past customs and practices should be set aside, North Korean state media said, a week after South Korean news services reported a North Korean mass gymnastics performance scheduled this month may have been canceled.

Korean Workers’ Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said Wednesday the “old ways” should not be imitated, following a performance at May Day Stadium earlier this month. The remarks were not attributed to leader Kim Jong Un, who disparaged the mass games in 2019.

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The Rodong article, which focused on North Korean national competitiveness on the world stage, stated, “In today’s world, where competition for national strength is fierce and the rise and fall of a country is governed by national power, following the old and inferior is a foolish attitude that promotes self-destruction.”

“Compete with the world, take on the challenges of the world and get ahead in the world. This is the goal and standard of our way of discovery, creation and innovation today,” the Rodong said. “If knowledge is poor and your vision is narrow, no matter how great your desire, you cannot explore the new.”

The statement comes after Kim appeared somewhat dissatisfied following a mass gymnastics performance for the 75th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party in Pyongyang’s May Day Stadium. Kim watched as tens of thousands of North Korean dancers and gymnasts performed for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic. As he shook hands with performers, he was not seen smiling, according to South Korean news service MoneyToday.

Last year, Kim had criticized the games and suspended the event for months, after saying the performances were of the “wrong spirit of creation.” He also upbraided producers for an “irresponsible work attitude.”

The North Korean leader has highlighted the importance of technological innovation since assuming power.

North Korean propaganda service Arirang Meari recently reported a new mobile payment technology could be used at state-run stores.

The electronic payment system is contact-less payment technology suitable for use amid COVID-19, state media said.

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