What do North Korean gymnastics say about the politics of Kim Jong-un?

What do North Korean gymnastics say about the politics of Kim Jong-un?

HONG KONG – For North Korean experts, virtually every detail of the authoritarian state is a possible window into the political priorities of its elusive leader Kim Jong-un.

A mass gymnastics that ended on Sunday in North Korea after a nearly two-month run was no exception: unlike in previous years, this year's edition should highlight the recent changes in Mr. Kim's attitude towards China, South Korea, and Iran United States.

This year's Mass Games Gymnastics Bonanza, which began in early September in the capital Pyongyang, was the first edition of the event since 2013. In addition to a military parade in September, this was the 70th anniversary of the founding of North Korea.

The performance "Glorious Country" featured 17,000 students who used colored cards in the stands to create a "human pixel" backdrop, as well as thousands of artists on the floor of the arena, says Andray Abrahamian, Stanford University fellow and author a book about North Korea that participated in the show in September.

"I suggest that we completely end the last 70 years of hostility and take a great step of peace to become one again," said Mr. Moon at a time in his speech that was broadcast live in South Korea.

Mr. Abrahamian said the speech could be viewed as a "semi-formal" recognition of North Korea by Mr. Moon's authority, and as a sign that Mr. Kim trusts Mr. Moon to "deliver a message that is not too provocative and would hold Relations between the Koreans were moving in a way both leaders felt comfortable with. "

But it's also noteworthy, he added, that the image of Mr. Moon was shown in a video while standing with Mr. Kim – and not in the same "iconic" portrait style reserved for Mr. Xi.

Soo Kim, a former North Korean analyst at the Central Intelligence Agency, said China's support for China's support of the Glorious Country's games sends a signal to Washington that Beijing would likely take Pyongyang's side in negotiations on the North's nuclear program if it comes to shoving. "

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet with North Korean officials in New York late this week. Kim Kim, the analyst, said the Kim regime has probably tried to express its dissatisfaction with nuclear talks have stalled

"This is not only frustrating for the US and South Korea. Kim Jong-un also does not want to be there, "she added. "The US and North Korea have been back and forth, and both sides have been unwilling to devote to denuclearization, relax sanctions or even issue a statement to end the Korean War."

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