Pyongyang: North Korean leader Kim Jong Il made a rare public appearance when he attended a joint concert of the country`s Milky Way symphony orchestra and the Russian Orchestra and praised the musicians for their impressive performance.
The performance was organised on Saturday on the occasion the International Workers Solidarity Day which is broadly marked here, it began with the orchestras playing the North Korean and Russian anthems.
Kim Jong Il thanked the musicians for a successful performance of works of Korean and Russian composers.
In the leader`s words, the Russian orchestra that has performed here on a number of occasions previously brings sincere joy to the North Korean audiences and contributes to the promotion of friendly relations between the two countries.
The North Korean leader, now 68, reportedly suffered a stroke in 2008, triggering speculation over who might succeed him as ruler of the impoverished nation that first tested a nuclear device in 2006.
Along with Kim Jong Il, the concert was attended by Defence Minister Kim Yong Chun, the Korean Workers` Party secretaries Choi Thae Bok and Kim Yong Nam, other high-rank state officials, representatives of the Korean People`s Army, labour staffs, and research organisations.
Russian Ambassador in Pyongyang, Valery Sukhinin, was also among the attendees.