​Seohyun captures audience with emotional performance with N. Koreans

Park Sae-jin Reporter Posted : 2018-02-12 14:06 Updated : 2018-02-13 15:45
글씨작게 글씨크게

[The Presidential Security Service]

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Aju News) -- It was a highly emotional night that highlighted the sadness and deep resentment of Korean people split by the superpowers after decades of brutal colonial rule by Japan.

There was no political theme and all participants including South Korean President Moon Jae-in, North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Kim Yo-jong, the young sister of Pyongyang's authoritarian ruler Kim Jong-un could not suppress their passion to sing together for unification.

The grand finale of the concert Sunday night at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul came when Seohyun, a member of South Korea's popular K-pop girl band Girls' Generation, made a surprise appearance on stage after North Korea's 140-member art troupe who mesmerized a South Korean audience with rare performances of traditional and modern music.

Wearing a short white dress, the 26-year-old dol star joined North Korean female singers to sing "Our Wish is Unification" yearning for reunification of the Korean peninsula divided at the end of World War II.

[The Presidential Blue House]

The joint performance captured the hearts of about 15,000 spectators who sang along with some shedding tears. Seohyun and North Korean singers exchanged heartfelt hugs as the audience embraced them with a long standing ovation.
Kim Yong-nam, 90, who headed a high-level North Korean delegation to the opening of South Korea's first Winter Olympics in the easter ski resort of Pyeongchang, was seen wiping away tears. After the concert, the North's delegation left for Pyongyang aboard a special plane.
The art troupe returned home by land on Monday, wrapping up a six-day stay that included the first concert last Thursday in the eastern port city of Gangneung. 

[The Presidential Security Service]

After the concert, many people have expressed curiosity of how Seohyun was selected and the president's office explained Monday that the decision to have the 26-year-old idol singer join the performance was made on the very same day of the concert.

"Because Samjiyon Orchestra members were all women and there was no time to arrange songs to match male singers, we had to choose a female singer," a Blue House official said. According to the official, Seohyun was selected among candidates because of her public recognition, beloved by South Koreans of all ages. "She was delighted to hear our offer and decided to join the concert," the official added.

Apart from her group activities, Seohyun has established herself as an actress, participating stage musicals and starring in various TV dramas. 
The art troupe from Pyongyang has presented elaborate performances with a different genre from classical music and modern western jazz to American folk music and popular South Korean songs from the 1980s that aroused nostalgia.
Some people had tears running down their cheeks. From time to time, loud cheers of wonder and amazement burst out from the auditorium.

[The Presidential Blue House]

The concert in Seoul came a day after Kim Jong-un invited Moon to a summit in Pyongyang in a letter conveyed his sister who was the only member of the North's ruling family to visit Seoul.

Moon answered to Kim's invitation in a cautious tone, suggesting the two Koreas should work to "create the conditions" for a summit in the future. He also urged North Korea to actively pursue dialogue with the United States.

If the two Koreas agree, the summit will be the third one. The South's late president Kim Dae-jung held a landmark summit with Kim Jong-un's late father, Kim Jong-Il, in 2000, opening an era of dramatic inter-Korean rapprochement. The second was held in Pyongyang in 2007 between Kim Jong-il and the South's late president Roh Moo-hyun.