13th World Festival of Youth and Students

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The 13th World Festival of Youth and Students
Host country Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Date 1989 (1989)
Cities Pyongyang
Participants 22,000, from 177 countries

The 13th World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held from 1–8 July 1989 for 8 days, in Pyongyang, the capital of the North Korea. It was organized by The World Federation of Democratic Youth. The festival was said to be held as a response to the hosting of the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul in neighbouring South Korea.[1]

About 22,000 people from 177 countries attended the festival. This was the largest festival in its history in terms of the number of the participating countries.[citation needed]

For this event, North Korea constructed monumental architectural projects such as Rungnado May Day Stadium, the world's largest stadium, which seats 150,000 people. Construction began in 1987 on the Ryugyong Hotel, for completion and use in the festival but it was never completed. The May Day Stadium was commissioned into service on 1 May 1989, in time to be used for the festival.[2]

On 1 July 1989, about 22,000 young people from 177 countries gathered in the May Day Stadium, inaugurating the festival.[citation needed] For eight days, the participants took part in social, cultural, sports and political activities.

The slogan of the festival was "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship".[citation needed]

The South Korean government prohibited any South Koreans from participating in this Pyongyang Festival, due to political considerations. However, a female college student named Lim Su-kyung attended the Pyongyang festival without any permission from the South Korean government. She received the nickname Flower of Unification, and became very famous worldwide during the Pyongyang festival. After her return to South Korea through Panmunjom, a village on the de facto border between North and South Korea, she was caught and was sent to prison by South Korean policemen.[3]

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  1. ^ Kim Gyeong-jun; Kim Hee-jin (2012-06-06). "Defector gets back at ‘traitor’ abuser". http://mengnews.joins.com. Korea Joong-Ang Daily. 
  2. ^ "Rungnado May First Stadium (May Day Stadium)". WorldStadiums.com. World Stadiums. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Lee Jong-tak(이종탁) (29 September 2009). 이종탁이 만난 사람, 통일의 꽃 임수경 [Interview with Lee Jong-tak, the flower of unification: Lim Su-kyung]. Monthly Kyunghyang (in Korean). Retrieved 3 June 2012. 

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