Nobody would have imagined this happening a few months ago — but now, an ambitious goodwill tour is turning into a reality. The recent Winter Olympics helped to soothe tensions between South Korea and North Korea, and now, there’s another big ice-breaker.
Roughly 160 artists will soon visit Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, from March 31st to April 3rd. They will be giving two major performances, along with lots smaller engagements.
According to a joint statement issued after a meeting attended by both Koreas at a border village, a broad group South Korean artists will soon be performing in Pyongyang. That includes ten K-pop artists, led by girl group Red Velvet (pictured above).
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The move is part some slow but positive developments between the two Koreas. Just recently, a North Korean band performed in South Korea. This was during the recently-ended Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Also witnessed at the Olympics: North Korean cheerleaders rooting for both countries. According to Seoul’s Unification Ministry, the last time South Korea sent a pop singer to North Korea was in 2005 (and yeah, the artist came back).
Beyond Red Velvet, pop legends Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sunhee and Cho Jin Hee are included in the group. The Koreas haven’t agreed on who else will be included in the South Korean artistic delegation. Apparently they were also unable to agree on which songs the South Korean singers will sing, but they are optimistic an agreement can be reached.
“When it comes to the list songs, I don’t think it will take a long time if we talk about the songs they know,” said chief South Korean delegate Yoon Sang, a popular singer,and composer. “Some sensitivity remains regarding which songs we’ll choose.”
Communication about the concerts have been happening a cross-border communication channel. Previous South Korean performances in the North included an opera, a joint symphony concert, and folk music.
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Maybe this event will prove that music is a universal language — with the soothing sounds K-pop de-escalating a nuclear standf.