Kim Jong Un Mingles With K-Pop Stars at Pyongyang Pop Concert

  • North Korean leader drops into meet Red Velvet girl team
  • ‘ It’ s a message appealing to appeasement by the South Koreans’

Northern Korea has threatened to go to battle over broadcasts across its militarized border that included the K-pop songs of South Korean groups like Red Velvet. On Weekend, Kim Jong Un was clapping along and posing for photos with the music group.

Kim’ s shock appearance at a rare pop live concert in Pyongyang was the North Korean leader’ s latest diplomatic overture as he prepares for an unprecedented possible meeting with U. S. President Jesse Trump next month. Kim first programs to hold a rare summit along with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has pursued reconciliation with Northern Korea to avert war within the regime’ s nuclear weapons system.

After listening to the particular band belt out dance songs including “ Red Flavor ” and “ Bad Boy ” to about 1, five hundred members of the North Korean top notch at the East Pyongyang Grand Movie theater, Kim called for a similar performance within Seoul later this year. “ I am aware people were curious to see if I stomach to see Red Velvet’ s functionality, ” Kim said, calling the particular show a “ present” in order to North Korea’ s citizens.

Following a similar attempt at K-pop diplomacy received a frosty reception a few years ago, Red Velvet’ s members indicated surprise at the welcome they obtained from the North Korean spectators, who also waved their hands and did along to the songs. South Korea has in recent years added K-pop in order to its propaganda broadcasts across the demilitarized zone, a practice that has motivated threats of military action simply by North Korea.

China Trip

Kim’ s appearance arrives a week after he shook in the Asian diplomatic landscape with an unforeseen trip to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing — their first overseas trip since consuming power in 2011. The planned inter-Korean summit with Moon on 04 27 is expected to pave the way in which for a similar meeting with Trump, who desires Kim to abandon his nuclear weapons.

“ It’ s a message appealing to appeasement by South Koreans, ” said Tibia Beomchul, a professor at Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul and a former director general intended for policy planning at the foreign ministry. “ By showing South Korea that the North is sincere — when it comes to inter-Korean relations at least — it eventually aims to build a far more favorable environment to get out of the problems it faces when Kim fulfills with Moon and Trump, correspondingly. ”

The concert was held on the same day time as the U. S. and Southern Korea launched mass military exercises that North Korea views as being a rehearsal for war. Official Northern Korean media had said absolutely nothing about the exercises as of Monday mid-day, in contrast with threats of army retaliation in past years.

Kim met with Reddish colored Velvet and other South Korean artists after the show, shaking hands together and expressing his “ deeply thanks, ” according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Kim mentioned he was “ deeply relocated to see our people sincerely acclaiming the performance, deepening the knowledge of the popular art of the south aspect, ” KCNA reported.

Stony Stares

When South Korean child band Shinhwa performed in Northern Korea in 2003 as part of an identical cultural diplomacy venture, the audience — dressed in suits and conventional dresses — greeted them with stop and stony stares. One of the music group members, Eric Mun, told reporters that they looked at the singers “ with eyes like shooting lasers, ” according to Yonhap.

That year, North Korea withdrew in the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and endangered to test atomic weapons. U. H. President George W. Bush got labeled the country a member of the “ axis of evil” in 2002. This time around, Kim is seeking to indulge the region’ s major capabilities after advances in his nuclear system prompted the United Nations to tighten up sanctions and Trump to endanger war.

Bootleg K-Pop

But it’ s i9000 the shifts in technology because the early 2000s that may be giving this particular year’ s musical extravaganza a lot more impact, said Kang Dong-wan, the professor at Dong-a University along with a leader of the Busan Hana Middle, an institute that helps North Korean defectors in the South Korean slot city of Busan.

K-pop — characterized by the manufactured melodies and slick method of marketing — has penetrated straight into North Korea over the past 10 years. Smuggled across the border on flash hard disks sticks and bootleg DVDs, K-pop has spread widely among the groups of North Korea’ s political top notch, Kang said.

Reddish colored Velvet — which performed a good invite-only concert at Credit Suisse Team AG’ s Asia investment meeting last month — is being became a member of in Pyongyang by South Korean singer Baek Ji Young plus rock band YB. A second show Wednesday will be a joint performance featuring functions from both Koreas and will occur at a 12, 000-seat stadium within Pyongyang.

“ The entire purpose of cultural exchange is to open up the gates for better relationships between the North and the South, that have been strained for a decade, ” Kang said. “ There is a strong politics motive to boost the mood in front of the summit. ”