Heo Young-joo, a 22-year-old student at Sungkyunkwan University and member of girl group The SeeYa, is one of many young people who joined a cycling relay dubbed "One Korea, New Eurasia."
The relay, hosted by the Chosun Ilbo to promote Korean reunification, takes participants on a 15,000 km journey that starts in Berlin on Sept. 13. They will cycle from through Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China. Heo will be with the team for nine days to complete the 751 km route from Berlin to Warsaw.
"I hope I can bring the two Koreas together through K-pop when we are reunified," Heo said.
The SeeYa is a reboot of an older band of the same name and debuted in November 2012.
"A girl band's job is not limited to singing and dancing. We also have certain social responsibilities, and I hope to make some contribution to reunification," Heo said. "North Korean defectors say that South Korean girl bands are very popular in the North, and many young people hope for reunification so they can listen to more K-pop."
Heo wrote the theme song for the cycling event and recorded the song. She will sing it when the participants embark in their journey in Berlin on Sept. 13.
"I hope to boost the morale of the team with my singing and dancing when the journey gets tough," Heo said.
She is aware of the physical challenge. "I used to practice dancing and singing more than 12 hours a day, so I recently completed my long-distance cycling training without much trouble," she said.