North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un makes surprise visit to South musical night

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses with South Korean K-pop singers in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang April 2, 2018.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un poses with South Korean K-pop singers in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang April 2, 2018. Reuters

South Korean rock musical troupe performed in front of 1,500 spectators in North Korea, including its leader Kim Jong-Un and his wife, in East Pyongyang Grand Theatre on Sunday, April 1 and the concert is mainly staged to reflect the recent thaw in their ties.

Even though the concert was supposed to start at 5.30 pm local time, it was delayed by 80 minutes as Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju suddenly decided to attend the musical program. His presence at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre made him the first North Korean leader to attend a concert which included South Korean musicians.

Kim's sister Kim Yo Jung, North's unification committee chief Ri Sun Kwon and Choi Hwi, North's nominal state head Kim Young Nam, the chairman of the North's National Sports Guidance Committee, including other high-ranking officials, attended the musical program.

The concert started 10 minutes after the Supreme Leader of North Korea arrived at the location. Kim was greeted by the South Korean delegation including Culture Minister Do Jong-Hwan and musical director Yun Sang.

Reports stated that Kim shook hands with the entire South Korean team and reported to have told them that he is looking forward to another joint concert in Seoul in the fall.

While quoting Kim, a high ranking government official said that the leader initially wanted to watch a concert on Tuesday, April 3 when the musicians of the two Koreas are scheduled to hold a joint musical program. But in view of other appointments, he attended the Sunday's concert. However, experts believe that it could be a security move to evade any risk to his life.

In Seoul, the South Korean President Moon Jae In too watched the joint concert, that was considered a part of the Koreas' effort to mellow down the tension in the peninsula. Both Korean leaders will attend a summit on April 27, followed by North Korea's talk with the US on denuclearization toward the end of May.

Concert Highlights:

The Sunday concert was hosted by Seohyeon of Girls' Generation, under the theme of "Spring Comes" and the South Korean art troupe performed 26 songs.

The jazz pianist Kim Kwang Min also performed on Sunday and later famous singer Jung In and Ali entertained the audience with their individual performances and a duet.

One of the leading female vocalists in South Korea, Baek Ji Young, also performed in the concert, followed by Rock band YB, K-pop girl group Red Velvet, Choi Jin Hee and Lee Sun Hee.

The 68-year-old Cho Yong Pil, who was revisiting North Korea for the first time in 13 years, also performed at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre.

A group performance from the 11 acts of Cho's song Dear Friend, including two last songs by North Korean artists were performed.

Prior to the concert, taekwondo athletes from South and North Koreas performed at Taekwon-Do Hall in Pyongyang, which started from 4.30 pm.

The area was overcrowded with 2,300 North Koreans. The audience clapped during the performance by the South Korean team, who also showed some electronic dance moves. But the most stunning incident happened when the sports personalities started to perform 'Fire' by K-pop group BTS.

The next performance will be held on Tuesday at Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium.