DPRK leader Kim Jong Un attends rare ROK concert in Pyongyang



The leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju on Sunday attended the first concert in Pyongyang by performers from the Republic of Korea (ROK) in more than a decade, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the ROK culture ministry.

The concert, with performances by a 120-member ROK art troupe, came as the two countries prepare for a rare summit between their leaders on April 27.

ROK musicians rehearse for a rare concert at the 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theater in Pyongyang, April 1, 2018. /VCG Photo

Kim welcomed the ROK art troupe’s visit and gave an enthusiastic response to the concert, Yonhap News Agency reported citing the DPRK’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

“[Kim Jong Un] showed much interest during the show and asked questions about the songs and lyrics,” Do Jong-hwan, the ROK's culture minister was cited by reports.

DPRK leader Kim Jong Un poses with ROK art troupe musicians. /VCG Photo

The concert, held under the theme “Spring is Coming,” was staged by the ROK’s top musicians such as K-pop legend Cho Yong-pil and girl band Red Velvet. Cho, who held a solo concert in Pyongyang in 2005, brought several of his classic songs such as “The Cafe in the Winter,” “Short Hair” and “Let’s Go on a Trip.”

The DPRK audience watch South Korean K-pop singers perform in a concert. /VCG Photo

The girl band, known for their upbeat electronic music, stylish fashion and high-voltage choreography, staged two of their hits “Bad Boy” and “Red Flavor.” Seohyun, a ROK musician who had performed with the visiting DPRK singers during their Seoul concert in February, was the host of Sunday evening’s performance.

Earlier on Sunday, the ROK’s visiting athletes performed taekwondo for around 2,300 residents in Pyongyang. They are expected to attend a joint display of the Korean martial art with the DPRK’s practitioners on Monday.

ROK taekwondo demonstration /Yonhap Photo‍

According to Yonhap, the DPRK leader also proposed the two sides to hold more cultural events, saying that it would be better to hold a concert in Seoul around fall under the title “Autumn is Coming.”

Sunday’s performance was held at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater in the DPRK capital. On Tuesday night, musicians from both sides will hold a joint concert at the 12,000-seat Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium.

The ROK art troupe arrived in Pyongyang on Saturday, and are expected to return home on Tuesday night after the performances.