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Chinese premier, DPRK leader watch opera A Dream of Red Mansions

PYONGYANG, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Il on Sunday watched A Dream of Red Mansions, a DPRK-staged opera adapted from a Chinese masterpiece.

The two leaders congratulated DPRK artists on their successful performance.

Wen, who arrived here Sunday for a three-day visit, held friendly talks with Kim before the show.

Under the instruction of late DPRK leader Kim Il Sung, DPRK artists adapted A Dream of Red Mansions for the stage in the 1960s. They had presented the opera to many Chinese leaders of the older generation, including Deng Xiaoping.

In 2008, DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il instructed that the opera be further improved and put on stage again as a major event for the China-DPRK Friendship Year. Kim offered much guidance for the opera and watched its rehearsal and performance on several occasions.

The Chinese classic, written during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) by Cao Xueqin, is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Chinese literature.

China offered help in the adaptation and performance of the opera, which is considered a good example of China-DPRK cultural exchange and cooperation.

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