• Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

N Koreans rally wearing masks after military parade

  • Published at 09:45 am October 13th, 2020
North Korea
Participants wearing face masks attend a rally in support of the upcoming 8th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) to be held in January 2021, at Kim Il Sung Square, in Pyongyang on October 12, 2020 AFP

At the parade, Kim insisted there had not been a single Covid-19 case in the country, thanking citizens for staying healthy

Thousands of North Koreans have packed into Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung square to pledge their support for the government -- all of them wearing masks, unlike at a military parade only two days earlier.

Authorities held the rally on Monday at the start of an "80-Day Campaign", a mass mobilization drive to boost the economy ahead of a ruling party congress in January.

Such efforts, often dubbed "battles", feature extra-long work hours and additional duties and are commonplace in North Korea in the lead-up to major events.

Troops, workers and students, all of them wearing facemasks, packed into the square, holding slogans including "Let's keep pace with the steps of our dear leader, Comrade Kim Jong Un."

It was a change from the military parade the North held at the weekend as part of the commemorations for the ruling party's 75th anniversary, when neither Kim nor any other participants had their faces covered.

Pyongyang closed its borders in January to try to prevent infection by the coronavirus that first emerged in neighbouring China, and at the parade -- when the North showed off its latest missiles -- Kim insisted there had not been a single case in the country, thanking citizens for staying healthy.

Kim -- along with other officials -- was also pictured unmasked watching a "Mass Games" propaganda display on Sunday, while spectators were seen wearing face coverings.

The ruling party anniversary comes during a difficult year for North Korea with the coronavirus pandemic and recent storms adding pressure to the country, which is subject to international sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

State Affairs Commission vice chairman Pak Pong Ju told the rally the next 80 days were "a very important and significant time period for our revolutionary advance", the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported.

"If we miss out on this lifetime opportunity and delay our advance at all, we could end up facing terrible and multiple challenges on our way forward."

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail