North Korea impressed all visitors. Once again, the forceful demonstration of the dictatorial regime has resulted in an imposing monument: a stadium that can officially accommodate 150 000 visitors on nearly 207 000 km2. Although in reality the stadium can accommodate only 100 000 or 110 000 people according to the sources, it is undoubtedly the largest in the world. Built on Rungra island in the middle of the River, the contemporary architecture is inspired by a Magnolia Blossom.
When South Korea was selected for the organization of the Olympic Games of 1988, the totalitarian regime has made every effort to position itself as the legitimate Korean Government. It was in the context of these manoeuvres that major architectural projects were born, including the stage of the first Mai; in particular, they allowed the country to host the 13th Youth and Student Festival in 1989. The enclosure is now known for organizing the Arirang mass shows, featuring as many artists as spectators. Just like Kim Il-Sung Stadium, this stadium is not always on the itineraries: so do not hesitate to ask the guides, once on site, if it is possible to organise a visit of the places. The stadium was extensively renovated and reopened in 2015.
The stadium had its heyday in 1995 by hosting the largest professional wrestling event ever organized (with the help of an American Wrestling Federation and new Japan Pro-Wrestling). Spanning two days, on 28 and 29 April 1995, the competition attracted between 150 000 and 190 000 spectators according to local authorities. It was broadcast in North America only on August 4, 1995.
At the end of the years 1990, several generals who ordered an attempt to assassinate Kim Jong-Il were burned alive as punishment…
In 2000, Madeleine Albright, State Secretary of the United States under President Bill Clinton, visited the stadium when she was invited by North Korean President Kim Jong-Il.
At the September 2018 inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang, South Korean President Moon Jae-in gave a speech with President Kim Jong-UN in front of 150 000 North Korean spectators.
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