North Korea plans to temporarily suspend its famous Mass Games gymnastics show — which features thousands of performers — after supreme leader Kim Jong Un criticized the event, travel agencies said Wednesday.
Kim, along with his wife, and his powerful sister Kim Yo Jong, watched the show, titled "The Land of the People," on Monday in Pyongyang, but the despot expressed his disapproval.
The North Korean leader felt the show's creators were in the “wrong spirit of creation and [had an] irresponsible work attitude" after he watched the performance at the capital's May Day Stadium, state media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
The North’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper published photos of Kim waving to clapping spectators while flanked by senior officials, including Kim Yo Jong, and crowds in the stands using colored cards to spell out “To the eternity of Korea, hurrah!” as fireworks exploded over the stadium.
Kim set forth “important tasks” to correctly implement the country’s revolutionary policy on literature and art, KCNA said, but did not provide further details.
The show will be suspended for days, or possibly weeks, while the show's creators make adjustments
Simon Cockerell, general manager of Beijing-based Koryo Tours, and Rowan Beard, a tour manager at Young Pioneer Tours, confirmed Wednesday their companies were informed by its North Korean partners of the show's suspension.
“We assume it will halt so some tweaks and improvements can be made to the performance,” Beard said in an email to The Associated Press. Young Pioneer Tours tweeted that the games would be suspended on June 10.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said it couldn’t confirm whether North Korea was pausing the mass games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.