North Korea ushers in New Year with public performance, fireworks

North Korea ushers in New Year with public performance, fireworks


North Korea, plagued by the COVID-19 pandemic, damage from typhoons and floods, as well as international sanctions throughout last year, began the New Year with a large-scale, crowded congratulatory event, Friday, despite its tough coronavirus restrictions. Pyongyang watchers believe the authoritarian country intended to show its regime was still holding up against the “triple whammy” and could control COVID-19 unlike other countries succumbing to the pandemic. The 50-minute show, broadcast live on state television, featured singing, dancing and fireworks, with crowds gathering at Kim Il Sung Square in the capital city. In addition, it also held a flag-hoisting ceremony at midnight when a bell rang to signal the start of the New Year.

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