April 02, 2018 09:40
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a concert by South Korean musicians in Pyongyang on Sunday with his wife Ri Sol-ju and sister Kim Yo-jong.
Other dignitaries in the audience included titular head of state Kim Yong-nam, Choe Hwi, chairman of the country's National Sports Guidance Committee and Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
Meeting the dozens of South Korean performers, Kim said, "Cultural performances must be held often. The South put on a concert this time, so let's have a concert in Seoul in the fall."
The concert was originally scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, but that was changed twice. With just a few hours left before it was scheduled to start, North Korean officials changed the time to 7:30 p.m., and then again to 6:30 p.m.
North Korean officials said the change was to allow more people to attend the event, but the real reason seems to have been to accommodate Kim, who had told South Korean officials that he had intended to watch Tuesday's concert, where North and South Korean will perform jointly, but had to come early due to a schedule conflict.
The concert finally started at 6:50 p.m. and ended at 9 p.m., and all 1,500 seats in the hall were filled.
Seo-hyun of girl group Girls' Generation hosted the show and some 25 singers including Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Baek Ji-young and Red Velvet performed.
Kim and his wife were applauding during the concert and Kim shook hands with each of the performers and took pictures with them after the show.
But South Korean reporters who traveled to Pyongyang to cover the performance were locked out. When they protested, their North Korean minders apparently told them be patient and kept them waiting under guard in the lobby.
Meanwhile, South Korean taekwondo athletes gave their own demonstration on Sunday, and a cross-border taekwondo performance is set to take place on Monday, and the joint concert on Tuesday.
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