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Dolphin Show Goes Swimmingly In North Korea

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By Ali Bunkall, Sky News Defence Correspondent

After Saturday’s massive military parade, Sunday was a national holiday in North Korea.

As the country continues to celebrate 70 years of the ruling Workers’ Party, our government guides took us to, of all things, a dolphin show.

The indoor arena was full, it was standing room only. The best seats in the house were reserved for us, the international media. This is a government trip and they want to show us their face of the country.

The crowd cheered and laughed as the dolphins performed their tricks to music. It was, as far as we could make out, genuine enjoyment.

But even in this relatively relaxed atmosphere, the country's leader Kim Jong Un was never far away.

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It was explained to me that Kim Jong Un personally oversaw the construction of the arena and visited it five times.

However most major buildings in Pyongyang can make that claim. The newspaper headlines are always about his daily movements. 

The hammer, sickle and brush emblem of the Workers’ Party was broadcast on a big screen behind the pool.

One audience member we spoke to thanked "the great leader for giving us this dolphinarium". We were told by another that "our dearly respected leader wants us to have and enjoy the best things in the world".

It felt very strange watching a dolphin show in North Korea.

State television is broadcasting real-time repeats of Saturday’s parade and light show. In the capital, the celebrations have dominated the city over the weekend.

Later on Sunday there will be a fireworks and song display over the main river in Pyongyang.

:: Alistair Bunkall is reporting under the supervision of the North Korean government.


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