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World News

North Korea makes song and dance about "Juche" self-reliance

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il (C) visits the Songjin Steel Complex which, KCNA said, completed "the Juche iron production system" in Kimchaek, northeast of Pyongyang in this undated picture released by the North's official KCNA news agency December 20, 2009. REUTERS/KCNA

SEOUL (Reuters) - Impoverished North Korea has long prided itself on its self-reliance, the principle of “Juche”, but not many people know that the country’s leader, Kim Jong-il, applied the same principles to... dancing.

“Twenty years has elapsed since leader Kim Jong-il published a famous work, ‘Theory of Dancing Art’,” the North’s KCNA news agency said on Tuesday.

“The work formulates the distinctive character and basic mission of the dancing art and the orientation of its development newly elucidated by the Juche idea.”

KCNA has a knack of delivering withering criticisms of “mothers of all war mongers” the United States and South Korea, but still finding time to tell readers something of North Korea’s lighter, if not weirder, side.

Since the work was published, the “originality and validity of Kim Jong-il’s idea and theory on the Juche-based dancing art have been fully demonstrated, many famous dance pieces created and the dance notation brought to perfection”, KCNA said.

North Korea is involved in a standoff with the South after it shelled a southern island last week, killing four people. Perhaps with this in mind, KCNA gave as examples performances of “Army and People United in One Mind around the Leader” and dances “I Can Still See Victory in the Revolution!” and “We Will Never Give up Even an Inch of Our Land”.

“Thanks to Kim Jong-il’s outstanding idea and theory, the dancing art of Korea has developed into a Juche-based, revolutionary one based on national dancestyle and the people’s life.”

(Reporting by Nick Macfie, Editing by Ron Popeski)

Created by Nicholas Macfie

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