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South Korean concerts in Pyongyang set for April 1 and 3

Mar 28,2018
Eleven South Korean music artists will hold two concerts in Pyongyang next month, one of which will include performances with North Koreans, the South’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced Tuesday.

The concerts are scheduled to take place on April 1 and April 3. The first concert, which will feature only South Korean performers, will take place at the East Pyongyang Grand Theatre, which seats 1,500. The second, a joint concert with North Koreans, will take place at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium, which seats 12,000.

Amid buzz that global sensation Psy might perform in Pyongyang, Hwang Seong-un, a spokesperson for the ministry said, “Sadly, he wasn’t able to make it to the final 11.”

The lineup is an eclectic mix of contemporary K-pop groups and ballad singers popular during the 1980s and ’90s. They include girl group Red Velvet; Seohyun, a member of Girls’ Generation; YB, a five-member rock band; Kim Kwang-min, a pianist; and Kang San-ae, a rock star.

The upcoming double bill will be accompanied with the subtitle “Spring is coming,” indicating that “spring is literally coming and that the warmth of spring is also present between the two Koreas,” Hwang said.

Including the 11 artists, about 190 South Koreans, mostly support staff and reporters, will be flying to North Korea for the concerts.

Among the South Korean delegation are taekwondo artists who will perform two demonstrations - one on their own on April 1 and another with North Koreans on April 2.

On Tuesday, South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with North Korea, also submitted a list of three people it plans to send to North Korea for talks on Thursday in preparation for the first summit meeting between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

The delegation includes Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung and Yoon Young-chan, President Moon’s top press secretary.

BY YIM SEUNG-HYE [sharon@joongang.co.kr]