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Photos: North Korea's surreal Mass Games

While everyone else watches the Olympics, Asia's weirdest sporting event transpires in the world's most secretive country
By MICHAEL GAO  |  September 8, 2008

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Photo by Michael Gao

The Mass Games depicts a heroic revolutionary struggle resulting in a happy, prosperous and independent “people’s paradise” where harvests are abundant. Reality is quite different. The DPRK is a bankrupt nation that struggles to feed itself, and largely blames its hardships on perceived US-led blockades. An estimated two million people were lost to famine in the 1990s. During that period, known as the "Arduous March," aid groups believe a third of the population relied on overseas food donations to stay alive.

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