Dictator Kim Jong-un goes pop as Korean tensions thaw

Apr 05, 2018, 01:40
Dictator Kim Jong-un goes pop as Korean tensions thaw

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, were among the hundreds in Pyongyang on Sunday watching South Korean K-pop singers perform in the North for the first time in more than a decade as tensions between the old rivals thaw.

After the performance, the rogue nation's leader personally went backstage to shake the hands of the group and take photos with them.

The performance also included some North Korean songs which were greeted with loud applause.

His father, Kim Jong Il, kidnapped South Korean performers and North Korea still puts citizens to death for watching South Korean media.

The two officials discussed various ways to expand inter-Korean sports exchanges and agreed to push for a joint entrance of South and North Korean athletes at the Asian Games in Indonesia, held from August 18 to Sep. -North Korea tensions, with the North conducting ballistic missile launches and testing a hydrogen bomb past year, and President Donald Trump engaging in fiery rhetoric with Kim. The neighbours are technically still at war after the 1950-53 conflict ended with a ceasefire, not a truce. The exercises were delayed and shortened this year in order not to spoil the Olympic detente.

Friday, the two koreas have agreed to the date of 27 April for a summit that is extremely rare, the third of its kind after those of 2000 and 2007, which will take place in the border village of Panmunjom.

A South Korean artistic group, including pop legends and the popular girl band Red Velvet, flew to Pyongyang over the weekend for two performances in the North Korean capital.

North Korean media mentioned the concert and Kim's delight at it, but did not air any of the performances except for the final one, an overtly political song called "Our Wish is Reunification".

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There are no changes in lyrics and choreography of the group's performance. He was also seen talking to members of Red Velvet, who have more than 4.6 million followers on Instagram.

Full video of their and other South Korean singers' performances wasn't immediately available.

Members of Red Velvet, one of South Korea's top K-pop groups, sang their hits "Bad Boy" and "Red Flavor".

At the same time as launching a diplomatic offensive, the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been tightening controls over the domestic economy, sources close to the country's trade sector have revealed to the Mainichi Shimbun.

"There had been interest in whether I would come and see Red Velvet", Kim said, according to the Asia Times.

The song previously closed an inter-Korean art performance in September 2002 and Samjiyon's performance in Seoul in February.

The 20 South Korean taekwondo practitioners are set to return home Tuesday, along with K-Pop artists and cultural officials, on a chartered plane. How North Koreans would react to Red Velvet was a focus of keen media attention in South Korea.

And to cap it off, Kim Jong-un mingled and met with Red Velvet after the show.

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