The K-Pop craze has taken over the world. Millions bob their heads to the catchy tunes and are mesmerized by the synchronized dance steps. In the sea of people at future K-pop concerts you may just find one very (in)famous head bobbing to the tune — that of one Kim Jong Un.
Yes, you read that right.
Kim Jong Un just attended a two-hour long K-pop concert in Pyongyang, accompanied by his wife. The North Korean leader clapped and waved as South Korean bands took stage in a rare concert and was “deeply moved.”
It was the first time in 10 years that the South Korean, globally followed, bands traveled to perform in North Korea after ties between the two nations seem to be on the mend as they prepare for a historic summit later this month.
The North Korean despot was “was deeply moved to see our people sincerely acclaiming the performance, deepening the understanding of the popular art of the south side,” according to North Korea state news agency KCNA.
Reports suggest Kim thoroughly enjoyed the concert, something that stunned many, since previously it had been a crime in North Korea to indulge in South Korean pop culture, despite the worldwide popularity it enjoys.
In early 2016, as Kim tested nuclear weapons, K-pop was blasted from speakers at the heavily guarded border, so this change of heart from both sides shows a good omen with regards to the prospect of peace in the region.
"(Kim) expressed thanks to them for coming here with (a) good performance, prepared by them with sincerity in a short span of time. He said that as he may have no time because of his complicated political program early in April, he came to enjoy the performance of the south side art troupe he invited to visit here,” reported KCNA.
The concert was attended by several leading North Korean officials including Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, North Korea's ceremonial President Kim Yong Nam, along with other members of the regime.
The K-pop singers will be performing one more time before they leave the North Korean capital. The performers included K-pop girl band Red Velvet, starlet Seohyun of Girls' Generation, singers Cho Yong-pil and Lee Sun-hee, and rocker Yoon Do-hyun.
Yoon, who also performed in Pyongyang in 2002, recalled his first time performing in the North Korean capital and why he chose to do it again.
"Our guitarist's hair was yellow. The North Koreans talked about that hair and said that he could not perform with it ... it wasn't easy from the beginning!” said Yoon, talking about his performance in 2002. However, he said it would be great if he could contribute in thawing out tensions between the two states through the power of music.
The huge shift in relationship between the two countries has been evident through the recent events; one of the most prominent of those events is the meeting invitation sent by Kim to U.S. President Donald Trump after decades of severed ties and looming threat of nuclear war.
Kim has been notorious for threatening the world with nuclear war, a war that could initiate a worldwide catastrophe and endanger millions of lives, but now, one knows the way to Kim’s heart: K-pop.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, KCNA