Published: Thu, April 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

North Korean Leader Attends K-Pop Concert in Pyongyang

North Korean Leader Attends K-Pop Concert in Pyongyang

Kim is the first North Korean leader to publicly attend a performance by South Korean artists in Pyongyang - Cho Yong Pil's 2005 concert was broadcast on television in North Korea, but Kim Jong Un's father Kim Jong Il reportedly did not attend - and was "particularly interested" in Red Velvet, a K-pop girl group, the publicly funded South Korean broadcaster KBS reported. "I had initially planned to attend a performance the day after tomorrow but I came here today after adjusting my schedule", Kim said, as quoted in a pool report.

Before her marriage to Kim, Ri Sol Ju was a singer in the North Korean Unhasu Orchestra, South Korea's Unification Ministry has confirmed, and videos of her performance can be found online.

The government of leftist South Korean President Moon Jae-in dispatched a troupe of 160 South Korean musicians to Pyongyang this week to perform a concert titled "Spring Comes", an artistic exchange in response to North Korea dispatching musicians and other artists to perform in the South in February, during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

CNN reports that at the end of the show, the North Korean leader and his wife shook hands with the pop stars, and even joined them for photo ops.

Members of the Red Velvet girl bandwere overjoyed with the warm reception they received in Pyongyang and indicated that they would like to return if invited again. "If the song they're singing is a new release, how big they are in South Korea, etc".

Kim Jong Un reportedly gave much applause after each performance and was well aware of the songs by Cho Yong Pil, Lee Sun Hee, and Choi Jin Hee. "I am grateful for a gift like this (concert) to the people of Pyongyang", as reported by South China Morning Post.

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The North Korean leader's face was slightly flushed in a group photograph with the performers distributed by North Korean state media.

In North Korea, citizens can be sentenced to death for simply possessing South Korean media. After the performance, the North Korean leader had met with the performers and thanked them with a handshake. The meeting will precede a meeting between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, who announced that he would meet Kim in person some time before May.

"When such good atmosphere is preserved carefully and continuously, only the attractive spring when new buds sprout and flowers blossom and the rich autumn when the crops are abundant will always be in the way of our fellow countrymen", Kim said, according to North Korean media.

The K-pop star Yoon Sang, who helped organize the event, told reporters that Kim Jong-un had personally requested someone in the music group sing that song.

South Korean singers arrive at Incheon International Airport from Pyongyang on Wednesday.

K-Pop girl group Red Velvet did something that it has never done in the past.

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