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Kim Jong-un, wife attend K-pop concert in Pyongyang

03 April, 2018, 03:04 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Chinese President Xi Jinping met with each other in China from March 25 to 28 ahead of summit meeting between the two Koreas and that between the U.S. and the North

The recent thaw in relations, which could even lead to a summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump in May, follows months of increased tensions after North Korea conducted missile launches and a nuclear test previous year in defiance of United Nations Security Council sanctions.

While spring drills customarily result in soaring tensions on the peninsula, recent Pyongyang state media messaging has hinted to the North Korean public that there could be an upcoming warming in North Korean-US relations.

The Trump team, he says, has done a good job of putting economic pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and missile programs, which may have led to a shift in North Korea's tone and a new desire to engage in diplomacy. It was his first visit overseas since he assumed the government in 2011 when his father died.

Sunday's concert will be followed by another one on Tuesday, the latter will be a joint North-South performance.

But it's the shifts in technology since the early 2000s that could make this musical extravaganza different, Kang said. Kim also took pictures with the troupe after the concert concluded. Even leader Kim acknowledged that there had been "so much interest in whether I'd come to see Red Velvet or not". "I rearranged my schedule to come to the concert today", Kim said.

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The North Korean audience clapped, cheered, sang along to some of the songs and later presented the South Korean performers with bouquets.

"All in all, Kim has astutely fractured the US -led unified front to denuclearize the North", Nagy said.

After the two-hour performance ended, the North Koreans gave a thundering standing ovation.

On Tuesday, the South Korean K-pop stars plan to hold a joint performance with North Koreans. One of the band members, Eric Mun, told reporters that they looked at the singers "with eyes like shooting lasers", according to Yonhap.

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.

In February, North Korean athletes and entertainers, along with a retinue of political figures, attended the 2018 Winter Olympics, hosted by South Korea, after which a senior delegation from Seoul traveled north for meetings with Kim.

Ultimately, "the implications of K-pop in Pyongyang will be about the same as the implications of Dennis Rodman frolicking with Kim Jong Un over the years - events of no geopolitical or humanitarian effect", Lee said, referring to the former basketball star who has visited Pyongyang multiple times.

Last week, Kim made his first overseas trip as leader to Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping, ahead of an inter-Korean summit, slated for April 27. And, as the event took place in Pyongyang, Kim himself was loudly applauded by the crowd.

On the same day the performers were playing in Pyongyang, annual South Korea-US war games kicked off in South Korea.

In North Korea, citizens can be sentenced to death for simply possessing South Korean media.

The exercise has also been shortened from two months to one in support of the detente between Pyongyang, Seoul and the West, the spokesman said.

This year's drills feature fewer strategic weapons such as a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, Seoul's military has said.

North Korea, which has in the past accused both the USA and South Korea of rehearsing an invasion of the North during the exercises, remained silent on the issue on Sunday.


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