Kpop group Red Velvet perform for Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang
03 April, 2018, 06:22 | Author: Valerie Santiago
Highlighting the threat that foreign media represented to Kim, prominent defector and former North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the U.K. Thae Yong Ho even said past year that its dissemination in the isolated country was the United States' best hope of bringing down the regime.
In the opinion of the president, the show of this Sunday is an occasion to bring the Korean peninsula "a spring of peace" and "demonstrate the image of only one country", indicated the local news agency KCNA. How North Koreans would react to Red Velvet was particularly the focus of keen media attention in South Korea. Kim was seen clapping in tune to some of the songs and took photographs with the performers after the show.
She said Trump's agreement to meet with North Korea's leader was "rash", in the absence of Pyongyang's commitment to take "any steps at all to indicate that they were serious about denuclearization". "Having invited South Korean journalists to the North, we have a duty to ensure that you can gather news freely and film comfortably", Kim was quoted as saying.
The inter-Korean summit, the third after meetings in 2000 and 2007, will be held on April 27.
South Korea's high-ranking officials, including the minister of culture, who attended the concert were reportedly unaware that the reporters had been excluded from the performance. He was also seen talking to members of Red Velvet, who have more than 4.6 million followers on Instagram. I had initially planned to attend a performance the day after tomorrow but I came here today after adjusting my schedule.
Kim followed up by agreeing to summits with US President Donald Trump and the South's President Moon Jae-in. But Red Velvet said in a post-concert interview that the North Koreans gave them a big hand. There will be another event on Tuesday that will showcase the talents of South Korean acts.
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Sunday's performance also coincided with the start of annual joint South Korean-U.S. military drills, which the North calls a rehearsal for invasion.
In the past, South Korea's popular music, known as K-pop, didn't find a great deal of love in Pyongyang.
Agence France-Presse posted video of the event, featuring clips of the musical performances as well as glimpses at Kim Jong-un clapping in the balcony of the concert hall. The musicians, who arrived in the North Korean capital on Saturday by a chartered civilian flight, included girl group Red Velvet; Seohyun, a member of Girls' Generation; YB, a five-member rock band; Kim Kwang-min, a pianist; and legendary singer Cho Yong-pil.
Whether Pyongyang authorities would make any demands was a matter of debate in South Korea's media because the general public in North Korea is strictly banned from listening to K-pop.
North Korean concertgoers on Sunday waved their hands from their seats when South Korean stars joined together to sing a popular Korean song, "Our wish is unification", the TV footage showed.
The appearance of Kim and his wife, former singer Ri Sol Ju, at the so-called K-pop concert was another indication of the thawing of relations between the peninsular rivals after years of heightened tensions over the North's nuclear program.
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A 70-member technical crew flew into the North on Thursday to prepare the stages ahead of the two concerts in Pyongyang. The North Korean leader reportedly told the artists that the two Koreas should hold cultural performances more often.
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