Global Pop Stars Make Beeline for Inter-Korean Border

      June 07, 2018 12:10

      American pop star Katy Perry uploaded a picture and video of her visit to the Korean demilitarized zone on Instagram right after the inter-Korean summit on April 27.

      She visited the inter-Korean border when she came to Seoul for a concert in early April. "Perry mentioned several times that she wanted to go to the DMZ, so we took her there," said a staffer at Arts In Motion, which planned her concert in Seoul.

      The DMZ is a hot backdrop for musicians hoping to cash in on world events. "These pop stars usually stay in Korea for one or two days, so they heavily depend on recommendations" from sites like TripAdvisor and Lonely Planet, said a concert planner.

      Jang Seung-jae, an agent for DMZ tours, said, "Since the inter-Korean summit, we saw a 25-percent increase in the number of foreigners booking DMZ tours." 

      Katy Perry poses in the demilitarized zone in April in this photo from her Instagram account.

      Inter-Korean issues tend to draw great attention from abroad. When tensions heightened after North Korea successfully carried out the third nuclear test in 2013, American rock band Deftones postponed the tour in Korea.

      "With the inter-Korean relations on better terms than ever, it seems that celebrities think visiting the DMZ is going to be a great experience or something that they will never be able to do in the future," said a staffer at Sony Music Korea.

      Paul McCartney has said he would like to hold a concert in the DMZ one day, and one Korean company had plans to make Irish supergroup U2 perform there.

      The DMZ Peace Train Festival, which will be held in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province from June 21-24, came about after organizers of the Glastonbury Festival in the U.K. toured the DMZ last year.

      Glen Matlock, the former bass guitarist of the Sex Pistols, will headline on the final day.

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