August 23, 2000 19:49
Fears were expressed Wednesday that the cultural exchange between North and South Korea is a one way influx of the North's ideology. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (MOCT) there have been twelve such events to date, including the recent Choson National Orchestra performances, but just one South performance. Within the broadcasting field there have been 16 North Korean programs broadcast in South Korea since October 1998, but not a single South Korean program has made its way up North. Pyogyang's movie "Pulgasari" can be seen in South Korea's cinemas, and a popular song can be heard on the radio. Media chiefs presented Kim Jong-il with copies of four movies made in the South, but it is doubtful whether the North Korean people will see them.
In addition huge amounts of money are heading North for these exchanges. The MOCT said that officially no money changed hands and while KBS told the people that it had sent 20,000 TVs to North Korea in exchange for the performances, few people believe this. Prior to this performance the orchestra had contracted with C & N to play two concerts for US$2 million, twice what a world class orchestra would charge.
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