Monday, 10 December, 2018

Kpop group Red Velvet perform for Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and wife Ri Sol Ju and Chinese President Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan pose for Kpop group Red Velvet perform for Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang
| 03 April, 2018, 06:20

Kim Jong-Un and North Korean first lady, Ri Sol Ju, enjoyed on Sunday a K-pop performance in Pyongyang as tensions between the two Koreas appear to soften.

"North Korean refugees overwhelmingly and consistently report that it has become more unsafe to consume foreign media under Kim Jong Un's crackdowns", Sokeel Park, the South Korea country director for refugee aid organisation Liberty in North Korea, said on Twitter. A second concert with joint performances with North Korean artists will be held this afternoon at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang.

"There was a lot of interest in whether I would come to watch Red Velvet", Kim Jong Un told North Korea's Central News Agency [via the Associated Press].

But in a surprise announcement on March 8, South Korean officials announced that Trump would hold talks with Kim.

"When such good atmosphere is preserved carefully and continuously, only the lovely spring when new buds sprout and flowers blossom and the rich autumn when the crops are abundant will always be in the way of our fellow countrymen", Kim said, according to North Korean media. "There is a strong political motive to boost the mood ahead of the summit". President George W. Bush had labeled it a member of the "axis of evil" in 2002.

Kim followed up by agreeing to summits with US President Donald Trump and the South's President Moon Jae-in.

The trip was Kim's first foreign visit after resuming office in 2011.

The rapprochement was triggered by the South's Winter Olympics, to which the North's leader Kim Jong Un sent athletes, cheerleaders and his powerful sister as an envoy. "K-pop boy bands who show off their dynamic dance moves will be too much for people in Pyongyang to take in". He was also seen talking to members of Red Velvet, who have more than 4.6 million followers on Instagram.

"I thank you for this kind of gift to Pyongyang's citizens".

Red Velvet is being joined in Pyongyang by South Korean singer Baek Ji Young and rock band YB, according to the Unification Ministry.

It was the first time a North Korean leader had attended a South Korean performance like this in the North.

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Let's remember that North and South Korea are still at war since the Korean war (1950-1953) since they never sign a peace treaty, only a ceasefire agreement. One of the band members, Eric Mun, told reporters that they looked at the singers "with eyes like shooting lasers", according to Yonhap.

Full video of their and other South Korean singers' performances wasn't immediately available.

The performance coincided with the beginning of annual joint South Korean-U.S. military drills, which have previously been met with denunciations and missile launches by the North.

The North is planning to hold a major parliamentary meeting on April 11, in which the country's rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, usually makes critical decisions on spending, legal revisions and personnel reshuffles at state organs.

In addition to the concert, a team of South Korean taekwondo demonstrators performed on Sunday at the Pyongyang Taekwondo Hall, drawing more than 2,300 North Koreans, including Choe Hwi, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee.

Elsewhere, a joint military exercise involving USA and South Korean troops got underway in South Korea on Sunday, local media reported.

K-pop-characterized by its manufactured melodies and slick approach to marketing-has penetrated into North Korea over the past 10 years.

"He sees these negotiations as a way of buying time". He called for negotiations that are "very focused and get quick action".

"We had the responsibility of providing the freedom and convenience of media coverage", he said.

Highlighting the threat that foreign media represented to Kim, prominent defector and former North Korean Deputy Ambassador to the U.K. Thae Yong Ho even said previous year that its dissemination in the isolated country was the United States' best hope of bringing down the regime.

The North Korean leader appeared in a group photograph with the performers, distributed by North Korean media.

"I had no idea I was able to keep the promise (to meet the North Korean artists again)", she said.

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