You are here: Home » International » News » Politics
Business Standard

Kim Jong-un 'deeply moved' by South Korean pop peace concert in Pyongyang

Kim and his wife were seen clapping their hands during the two-hour Sunday event, which was also attended by Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong

Topics
Kim Jong Un Kpop Kpop Bts

AFP/PTI  |  Seoul 

K Pop artists, Kim Jong Un
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets members of popular South Korean artists and girl band Red Velvet | photo: AP/PTI

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiled, clapped and said he was "deeply moved" by a rare performance by South Korean K-pop stars in Pyongyang, state media reported on Monday.

The high profile appearance of Kim and his wife, former singer Ri Sol Ju, at the concert was unusual as his authoritarian regime typically struggles to prevent any infiltration of the South's pop culture among his isolated people.

Kim, the first North Korean leader ever to attend a show by entertainers from the South, shook hands with the performers and "expressed his deep thanks to them," the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

"He said that he was deeply moved to see our people sincerely acclaiming the performance, deepening the understanding of the popular art of the South's side," KCNA said.

The visit by the South's entertainers, seen as part of a cultural charm offensive by Seoul, comes as a diplomatic thaw gathers pace on the peninsula ahead of a landmark inter-Korean summit later this month.

Kim said he was likely to be busy "because of his complicated political program early in April," so he was glad to make it to the concert which he credited with bringing the "spring

The 120-member South Korean group - 11 musical acts as well as dancers, technicians and martial artists - gave one concert on Sunday with another set for Tuesday.

Kim and his wife were seen clapping their hands during the two-hour Sunday event, which was also attended by Kim's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, and the North's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam.

The concert at the elaborately decorated 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theatre ended with a standing ovation by the packed audience after a finale featuring all the stars singing a song about unification.

One of the most closely watched acts was Red Velvet, part of the South's hugely popular K-pop phenomenon that has taken audiences in Asia and beyond by storm.

Even leader Kim acknowledged that there had been "so much interest in whether I'd come to see Red Velvet or not".

The five-member girlband -- known for its signature K-pop mix of upbeat electronic music and high-voltage choreography -- performed two of their hits, "Bad Boy" and "Red Flavour".

"The North's audience applauded our performance much louder than we expected and even sang along to our songs... it was a big relief," band member Yeri told reporters.

The ongoing rapprochement was triggered by the South's Winter Olympics, to which the North's leader Kim Jong Un sent athletes, cheerleaders and his sister as an envoy.

Kim followed up by agreeing to a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and offering a face-to-face meet with US President Donald Trump. Kim also met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing last week during his first overseas trip.

The inter-Korean summit, the third such event after meetings in 2000 and 2007, will be held on April 27. No date has been set for the US-North Korean summit although it is expected before the end of May.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, April 02 2018. 22:18 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.