Korea musicians to play first concert in North since 2007

by Garry Watts March 22, 2018, 0:59
Korea musicians to play first concert in North since 2007

Nobody would have imagined this happening a few months ago - but now, an ambitious goodwill tour is turning into a reality.

The move reciprocates North Korea's dispatch of musicians and traditional Korean martial art demonstrators on the occasion of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last month.

The South Korean troupe will give two concerts, at the 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theatre and the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium, which can accommodate some 12,000 spectators, Yonhap news agency reported.

Among the 160 artists slated to appear in North Korea between March 31 and April 3 are K-pop stars including the girl group Red Velvet, Cho Yong-pil, and others.

North Korean Hyon Song Wol, left, head of a North Korean art troupe, shakes hands with her South Korean counterpart Yun Sang after meeting in North Korea.

Also witnessed at the Olympics: North Korean cheerleaders rooting for both countries.

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But in a statement the Pentagon confirmed they would now go ahead at the start of April, coinciding with the concerts by South Korean artists in Pyongyang.

The artists that South Korea is sending befit this historic event.

The combined photo, provided by South Korea's broadcaster SBS on August 23, 2005, shows South Korean pop singer Cho Yong-pil (L) holding a performance in Pyongyang.

It marks the first time that a South Korean entertainer will represent the South's delegation for inter-Korean talks.

Popular girl band Red Velvet is also among the South Korean groups.

"While we're on the stage, I believe it will be hard to portray personal feelings towards denuclearization", said singer and record producer Yoon Sang, who led the South's delegation at Tuesday's talks. "Some sensitivity remains regarding which songs we'll choose". Previous South Korean performances in the North included an opera, a joint symphony concert, and folk music.

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