North Korean Leader Attends Concert By South Korean Performers In Pyongyang

North Korean Leader Attends Concert By South Korean Performers In Pyongyang

A South Korean art troupe arrived Saturday in North Korea for a series of performances in the capital Pyongyang as part of a recent thaw in inter-Korean relations.

South Korean pop singers performed in the North during a past era of detente, but it was the first time for a North Korean leader to attend such a South Korean performance.

Kim proposed that the next one be held in Seoul under the title "Autumn Comes".

South Korean musicians held a concert and taekwondo athletes gave performances in Pyongyang Sunday as part of cross-border exchanges ahead of a historic inter-Korean summit slated for next month.

Still, some South Korean performers were evidently deemed too risqué.

Legendary boy band Shinhwa, which performed in Pyongyang in 2003, wished the cultural troupe good luck ahead of its departure to North Korea tomorrow (March 31).

The inter-Korean summit, the third after meetings in 2000 and 2007, will be held on April 27.

The singer, unfortunately, is unable to attend either of Red Velvet's Pyongyang concerts (scheduled for Sunday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 3) due to scheduling conflicts with her TV show. Riding on the momentum, North Korea is set to hold talks with the USA on denuclearization before the end of May. The deployment of such powerful weaponry during past drills has frequently drawn an angry response from the North. One of the band members, Eric Mun, told reporters that they looked at the singers "with eyes like shooting lasers", according to Yonhap News. Kim Jong Un was seen clapping in tune to some of the songs and later took photographs with the performers after the show.

The 120-member group, including top girlband Red Velvet, flew from Seoul's Gimpo airport aboard a chartered civilian flight to Pyongyang via the rarely used direct air route between the two Koreas, as a rapprochement on the peninsula gathers pace.

Another member, Seulgi, appeared red-eyed as she bid farewell to the audience at the end of the concert, apparently overcome with emotion.

K-pop legend Cho said: "I will comfortably perform in the North as I do here".

Despite the North's isolation and strict curbs on unauthorised foreign culture, enforced with prison terms, K-pop and South Korean TV shows have become increasingly popular there thanks to flash drives smuggled across the border with China. The South Korean government confirmed that the Gangnam Style singer had been considered for the roster, but didn't make the final cut.

In an interview with Billboard in 2013, the 68-year-old singer was dubbed a "K-pop legend".

During the taekwondo event, a previously raptured audience member turned stone-faced when the athletes showcased a performance combining K-pop dance and Taekwondo routines to a hit song of ultra-popular boyband BTS.

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