S Korea musicians return after rare Pyongyang joint concert

2018 Ju Peng  Xinhua via AP      
                                               Georgy Toloraya

2018 Ju Peng Xinhua via AP Georgy Toloraya

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.

However, fans of the group have had mixed reactions following the performance.

A delegation of artists from south korea, whose girlband K-pop Red Velvet, arrived Saturday in Pyongyang to participate for the first time since 2007, concerts in the North, amid signs of a thaw between the two koreas, with an inter-Korean summit planned for the end of April. There could be changes to the repertoire up until the last minute, according to Seoul officials.

Musicians from North and South Korea held hands, sang and cried together at a rare concert held in Pyongyang that ended with an emotional standing ovation by thousands of spectators.

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During the first performance, 11 Korean acts were in the lineup: Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Choi Jin-hee, Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Ji-young, Red Velvet, Jungin, Seohyun, Ali, Kang San-eh and Kim Kwang-min.

"I think the performance was a success", said Hyon Song Wol, head of the North's art troupe, after the show.

Do Jong Hwan said, "When an unrecognized singer came up on stage, he would ask how popular they are in South Korea".

Incidentally, his wife Ri Sol Ju used to be a singer in a North Korean orchestra before her marriage. The band has one more performance lined up in the capital. "This meeting [between President Trump and Kim Jong Un] won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea", Sanders cautioned, citing the North's promises around denuclearization. They are scheduled to leave for Incheon International Airport at midnight but the departure could be delayed, according to Seoul officials.

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South Korea's high-ranking officials, including the minister of culture, who attended the concert were reportedly unaware that the reporters had been excluded from the performance.

The North sent not only athletes and cheerleaders but also an art troupe and a taekwondo demonstration team in celebration of the Olympics.

Just two years after K-pop was deployed as a soft weapon against his country, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was "deeply moved" following a two-hour performance by South Korean artists, the North Korean state news agency KCNA reported Monday. Meanwhile, this concert comes right ahead of the inter-Korean summit to be held on April 27.

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