In historic move, Kim Jong-un, wife attend K-pop concert
North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol Ju attended a rare concert of K-pop singers in the country's capital Pyongyang. K-pop singers performed in the North for the first time, after years of tension between North and South Korea. After the performance, Kim Jong-un clicked pictures with the K-pop girl band Red Velvet.
Here's why Kim Jong-un's attendance at K-pop concert matters
In North Korea, consuming South Korean culture, music, or soap operas is a punishable offense. In 2011, Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il ordered a crackdown against the same. Swat teams would barge into homes and remove DVDs from players. To blast North Korea for conducting nuclear tests, its neighbor played K-pop in giant speakers across the militarized border in 2016.
Will cultural exchange improve relations between long-warring neighbors?
Since the 1950-1953 conflict ended in a ceasefire and not peace accord, the two Koreas have been at war. When North Korea participated in February's Winter Olympics in the South, things turned hopeful. Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-In in April.
Elated Kim thanks K-pop band for wonderful gift to citizens
After the over two-hour-long concert, Kim Jong-un told South Korean reporters, "We should hold culture and art performances frequently." Kim was seen clapping and he even asked reporters to tell Moon to host a similar concert in Seoul in autumn. The South Korean culture minister said, "(Kim) He showed much interest during the show and asked questions about the songs and lyrics."