NKorean leader Kim watches performance by SKorean pop stars

Marsha Scott
April 2, 2018

The now 53-year-old travelled to the North for a joint concert in 2003, which marked the opening of the Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium - one of the performance venues for the upcoming concert.

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

Although almost 300,000 South Korean troops and 24,000 American troops will take part, the drill will be a month shorter than usual and will not involve nuclear submarines.

"Please tell (South Korean) President Moon Jae-in how great an event like this is.I am grateful for a gift like this (concert) to the people of Pyongyang", Kim told visiting Seoul officials.

Among the 120-strong delegates were former Girls' Generation member Seohyun, Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Choi Jin-hee, Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Ji-young, Jungin, Seohyun, Ali, Kang San-eh, Kim Kwang-min and Red Velvet's Irene, Seulgi, Yeri and Wendy - who are without Joy, who now stars on the MBC drama Tempted.

Another famous singer, Choi Jin-hee, also performed for the fourth time in the North and sang Maze of Love - a hit in both Koreas and another of the late Kim's favourites.

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A South Korean artistic group including K-pop singers flew to Pyongyang on Saturday for two performances in the North Korean capital.

The performances may be regarded as part of the diplomatic efforts taken to improve relations between the South and the North, following the historic "reunification" during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. No date has been set for the US-North Korean summit.

The 120-member group led by Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-whan will depart Seoul's Gimpo International Airport at 10:30 a.m. aboard a chartered civilian flight. North Korea's Moranbong Band, often said to be Mr. Kim's favorite girl group, has been known to dance in short skirts and high heels.

"The whole goal of cultural exchange is to open the gates for better relations between the North and the South, which have been strained for a decade", said Professor Kang Dong Wan at Dong-a University and a leader of the Busan Hana Centre, an institute that helps North Korean defectors in the South Korean port city of Busan. The ministry also plans to suggest the North resume its cross-border project to excavate the site of Manwoldae, a Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) palace located in Gaesong, according to the pool report.

In another sign of eased tensions, an annual US-South Korean military exercise which got under way in the South yesterday will last for just one month compared to some two months normally.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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