N. Korean Media Reports Kim Jong-un's Attendance at S. Korean Concert

2018 Ju Peng  Xinhua via AP      
                                               Georgy Toloraya

2018 Ju Peng Xinhua via AP Georgy Toloraya

The Pyongyang concert was originally slated for 5.30pm (4.30pm, Singapore time), but was delayed for 80 minutes due to Kim's sudden decision to attend the concert himself with his wife Ri Sol Ju.

According to BBC, the North Korean president "showed much interest during the show and asked questions about the songs and lyrics". They shared a few words as they headed to the second floor for the concert.

Kim shook hands with the performers and "expressed his deep thanks to them", the North's official KCNA news agency reported.

The North Korean rhetoric may come as a surprise, given Kim's usual saber-rattling statements that are mostly directed against the United States. Experts say it's unlikely, and the flurry of meetings, events and diplomatic activity is merely a facade for more strategic goals, including the dividing of allies and the easing of biting sanctions amid the US -led "maximum pressure" campaign of President Donald Trump.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong-whan. April 25 is when the regime celebrates Kim Il Sung's establishment of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army in 1932 to fight Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula. But Red Velvet said in a post-concert interview that the North Koreans gave them a big hand.

The audience cheered and sang along to songs during the two-hour concert and the South Korean performers were later presented with bouquets.

It kicked off with a performance by jazz pianist Kim Kwang Min, along with a hologram that depicted the theme. "I am grateful for a gift like this (concert) to the people of Pyongyang", he said.

In North Korea, citizens can be sentenced to death for simply possessing South Korean media.

But in a surprise announcement on March 8, South Korean officials announced that Trump would hold talks with Kim.

Yoon, who also performed in Pyongyang in 2002, recalled his first time performing in the North Korean capital and why he chose to do it again.

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In the South, the Sunday show will air in its entirety on local channel MBC this Thursday at 7:55 p.m.

"Spring is coming" was the title of Sunday's concert.

Seohyeon sang for the last part of the individual performances.

The last time a South Korean artist performed in the North was in 2005, when Cho Yong-pil held a solo concert in Pyongyang.

Members of the K-pop group, meanwhile, were pretty relieved by the North Korean audience and Kim's reception to their performance. He even took a photo with them after their performance.

Sunday's performance was one of two scheduled during the trip.

Full video of their and other South Korean singers' performances wasn't immediately available. It is the first of two concerts that are aimed to improve relations between North and South Korea.

"It was our first time performing in Pyongyang and it was meaningful", said Lee Eui Seong, the captain of the South Korean squad. It feels great to spread our taekwondo.

North Korean staff were spotted outside the performers' dressing rooms using Japan-made electronic devices to serve coffee and cupcakes, including Western Lavazza and Coffee-mate products, according to a South Korean media pool report.

Each team will perform for about 25 minutes, and then hold a joint demonstration for five minutes.

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