N. Korea's Kim voices excitement at concert by Red Velvet and other artists

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2018-04-02 10:02 Updated : 2018-04-02 10:02
글씨작게 글씨크게

[Joint Press Corps.]

SEOUL -- K-pop girl band Red Velvet and other South Korean artists captured the hearts of North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and other fans at a concert in Pyongyang ahead of an inter-Korean summit, according to pool reports.

Kim gave an enthusiastic response to the concert on Sunday night saying he was so excited and impressed as it brought "the spring of peace" to the two Koreas, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"I hope the South Korean art troupe's visit to Pyongyang will be a meaningful opportunity to show off the unity of North and South Korean people," Kim said. He became the first North Korean leader to attend a performance by South Korean artists.

Kim had been expected to see a joint performance by South and North Korean artists on Tuesday, but KCNA said he and his wife attended Sunday's concert as he could not arrange time due to the hectic schedule for political events.

A South Korean official quoted Kim as saying people were interested in whether he would attend to see Red Velvet, a girl group which has broadened the base of international fans with a streak of hit songs including "Rookie", according to pool reports. "I originally intended to visit the day after tomorrow, but I adjusted my schedule to come today," he was quoted as saying.

The popular K-pop girl band performed hits songs "Red Flavor" and "Bad Boy" at the concert and about 1,500 North Korean audience greeted them with loud cheers and applause.

"The audience presented us with waves of applause and sang with us. It was so unexpected. We were able to relax because of their reactions," Yeri, a Red Velvet member, told the joint press corps after their performance.

Wendy, another member, also expressed her surprise: "We thought that even though we receive no reaction from the audience, we would have to do our best, but they gave us huge reactions and applause."

South Korea dispatched a 160-member art troupe for two concerts in Pyongyang. The concerts in Pyongyang come ahead of an inter-Korean summit on April 27 in the truce village of Panmunjom.