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    Apr
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    South Korea’s K-pop diplomacy, in pictures
    South Korea’s K-pop diplomacy, in pictures
    POLITICS

    South Korea’s K-pop diplomacy, in pictures

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    by
    Adam White
    Adam White
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    North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un has been on a diplomacy blitz in the past month.

    Only just returned from a surprise trip to Beijing to meet with Chinese president Xi Jinping, now Kim has allowed – and even attended – a rare series of cross-Korean concerts in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

    A 160-strong troupe of South Korean musicians and pop stars joined their Northern counterparts in a series of two concerts on Sunday and Tuesday.

    The performances are the first by South Korean musicians in the Northern capital since 2005.

    The visit is part of a cultural charm offensive by Seoul, ahead of a historic summit between the two Koreas on April 27 – the first in a decade.

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    A US-Korea summit is expected to be held by the end of May.

    The ‘We Are One’ concert was held on Tuesday evening to a packed 12,000-strong crowd at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang.
    The ‘We Are One’ concert was held on Tuesday evening to a packed 12,000-strong crowd at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium in Pyongyang. Photo: AFP/KCNA via KNS
    North Korean singer Kim Ok-ju (L) and South Korea’s Lee Sun-hee (R) teamed up to sing Lee’s ’80s hit ‘Beautiful Country.’
    North Korean singer Kim Ok-ju (L) and South Korea’s Lee Sun-hee (R) teamed up to sing Lee’s ’80s hit ‘Beautiful Country.’ Photo: EPA-EFE
    North Korean audience members in traditional hanbok dress at the event. ‘The performers sang of the ardent desire of the fellow countrymen for national reunification hands in hands,’ reported North Korea’s KCNA state news agency.
    North Korean audience members in traditional hanbok dress at the event. ‘The performers sang of the ardent desire of the fellow countrymen for national reunification hands in hands,’ reported North Korea’s KCNA state news agency. Photo: EPA-EFE
    South Korean singer Seohyun co-hosted the event. ‘I think the performance was a success,’ Hyon Song-wol, head of the North Korean art troupe, told reporters after the show. ‘The South Korean singers did really well without any mistakes even though they had only half a day to practice.’
    South Korean singer Seohyun co-hosted the event. ‘I think the performance was a success,’ Hyon Song-wol, head of the North Korean art troupe, told reporters after the show. ‘The South Korean singers did really well without any mistakes even though they had only half a day to practice.’ Photo: EPA-EFE/Yonhap
    South Korean media reported that Korean girl group Red Velvet’s provocative performance of their hit ‘Red Flavour’ wasn’t much of a hit with a subdued North Korean audience.
    South Korean media reported that Korean girl group Red Velvet’s provocative performance of their hit ‘Red Flavour’ wasn’t much of a hit with a subdued North Korean audience. Photo: EPA-EFE/Yonhap
    The North Korean crowd loudly applauded South Korean musician Choi Jin-hee’s performance of her ’80s hit ‘The Maze of Love’ – rumored to be former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s favourite song.
    The North Korean crowd loudly applauded South Korean musician Choi Jin-hee’s performance of her ’80s hit ‘The Maze of Love’ – rumored to be former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s favourite song. Photo: AFP
    North Korea’s General Kim Yong-chol (third from left), joins hands with South Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-hwan (fourth from left).
    North Korea’s General Kim Yong-chol (third from left), joins hands with South Korean Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-hwan (fourth from left). Photo: Korea Pool Photo
    An audience member waves at the camera during the show. A standing ovation at the end of the concert lasted more than 10 minutes.
    An audience member waves at the camera during the show. A standing ovation at the end of the concert lasted more than 10 minutes. Photo: Korea Pool Photo
    The show reached a crescendo as musicians from the North and South joined forces on stage to sing North Korean song ‘See You Again’ and the children’s song ‘Our Wish is Reunification.’
    The show reached a crescendo as musicians from the North and South joined forces on stage to sing North Korean song ‘See You Again’ and the children’s song ‘Our Wish is Reunification.’ Photo: AFP/KCNA via KNS
    North Korea’s Kim Jong-un met with K-pop girl band Red Velvet ahead of their performances.
    North Korea’s Kim Jong-un met with K-pop girl band Red Velvet ahead of their performances. Photo: EPA-EFE/KCNA
    Kim with the South Korean pop singers. He did not attend the second concert, but described himself as “deeply moved” by Sunday’s event.
    Kim with the South Korean pop singers. He did not attend the second concert, but described himself as “deeply moved” by Sunday’s event. Photo: EPA-EFE/KCNA
    ADAM WHITE
    ADAM WHITE
    Adam White is a contributor to Inkstone. The Hong Kong­-born-and-raised journalist and editor has written for CNN, Time, Monocle, HK Magazine and the New Statesman.

    ADAM WHITE
    ADAM WHITE
    Adam White is a contributor to Inkstone. The Hong Kong­-born-and-raised journalist and editor has written for CNN, Time, Monocle, HK Magazine and the New Statesman.

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