South Korean K-pop is a black market item in North Korea, but in Pyongyang on Sunday night, it received the royal seal of approval when state leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju appeared at a concert featuring some of the South’s top performers. The dailyReport Must-reads from across Asia - directly to your inbox Although it was the first time a North Korean leader ever watched a K-pop performance, experts said, Kim’s apparent thumbs-up is not likely to lead to any change of policy toward South Korean cultural content in the near future. The South Korean performance troupe visiting Pyongyang included top crooner Cho Yong-pil – a veteran performer who holds a place in the South Korean genre that is somewhat analogous to Tom Jones in the Western popular canon – and girl-band-of-the-moment, Red Velvet. TV footage of Sunday’s “Spring is Coming” concert in Pyongyang’s 1,500-seat Grand Theater showed a smartly dressed North Korean … [Read more...] about Kim likes South Korean pop, but his public watch it at risk
Korean pop culture
By Hyung-Jin Kim The Associated Press Sun., April 1, 2018 SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of—North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un clapped his hands as he, along with his wife and hundreds of other citizens, watched a rare performance Sunday by South Korean pop stars visiting Pyongyang, highlighting the thawing ties between the rivals after years of heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear program. A South Korean artistic group, including some of the South’s pop legends and popular girl band Red Velvet, flew to Pyongyang over the weekend for two performances in the North Korean capital, one on Sunday and the other on Tuesday. How North Koreans would react to Red Velvet was particularly the focus of keen media attention in South Korea. During Sunday’s performance at the packed East Pyongyang Grand Theatre, Kim made a surprise visit with his wife Ri Sol Ju, sister Kim Yo Jong and other senior North Korean officials including nominal head of state Kim Yong … [Read more...] about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un attends South Korean pop stars’ show in Pyongyang
SEOUL: K-pop stars led a group of South Korean musicians departing for Pyongyang Saturday to take part in the latest set of cross-border cultural performances ahead of next month's rare inter-Korean summit.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."This performance in Pyongyang will add momentum to inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation that resumed with the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics" in the South, said Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan, who led the group.Under the theme title Spring is Coming, South Korean musicians will perform a concert in Pyongyang Sunday before a joint show with North Korean artists at the capital's 12,000-seat Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium on Tuesday.While in Pyongyang, Do said, he will meet with North Korean officials to discuss further cultural and sports … [Read more...] about South Korean musicians leave for Pyongyang performance
SEOUL, South Korea — From aging crooners to bubbly K-Pop starlets, some of South Korea's biggest pop stars flew to North Korea on Saturday for rare performances that highlight the sudden thaw in inter-Korean ties after years of tensions over the North's nuclear ambitions. The concerts in Pyongyang on Sunday and Tuesday come ahead of a historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a border village on April 27. The meeting, which will precede a planned summit between Kim and President Donald Trump in May, could prove to be significant in the global diplomatic push to resolve the standoff over the North's nuclear weapons and missiles program. The 120-member group that flew to Pyongyang also included government officials, reporters and a taekwondo demonstration team that will perform in Pyongyang on Sunday and Monday. Another team of 70 South Korean technicians went to Pyongyang on Thursday to set up equipment. A look at the singers … [Read more...] about K-Pop time: South Korean pop stars fly to North Korea for rare concerts
TOKYO/SEOUL (NYTIMES) - Cavorting in sparkly miniskirts and midriff-baring tops, the five members of Red Velvet, one of South Korea's most popular girl bands, belted out one of their hits, Red Flavour. "We look good together, we're pretty cool/I like it, it was love at first sight," they crooned in Japanese, tossing their long hair and flashing runway-worthy pouts on Thursday night, as 10,000 fans at a Tokyo arena shrieked and waved bright pink light sticks in unison to the hip-hop beat. Yes, but will it play in Pyongyang? On Saturday (March 31), Red Velvet, along with 10 other acts from South Korea, will travel to North Korea to perform in concerts staged by Seoul as part of a campaign of cultural diplomacy. It is yet another sign of how the usually reclusive North Korean regime is strategically opening itself to the outside world as it hints it may be willing to roll back its nuclear program. This week, Kim Jong Un, the North's leader, surprised the international community with a … [Read more...] about South Korean pop stars heading North: Can Pyongyang handle a K-pop invasion?