Kim Jong Un 'deeply moved' at South Korea's K-Pop diplomacy

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing China in this

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing China in this

Kim made conciliatory comments towards the South during his New Year's speech, and followed up by re-opening a diplomatic phone hotline between the two neighboring countries.

The images of Kim posing and laughing with South Korean pop stars and applauding in the stands contrasts with reports from North Korean defectors who say he has overseen a crackdown on anyone caught listening to foreign media. South Korea sent a delegation of artists and diplomats to the north.

On Monday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency quoted Kim Jong-un as saying that he was "deeply moved to see our people sincerely acclaiming the performance, deepening the understanding of the popular art of the south side".

Mr Kim clapped along and then met performers backstage where he conversed and took pictures, BBC reports. It was not all, even there; the North Korean leader spoke of giving nuclear arsenals.

Next on the agenda for Kim, Lee said, would be to hold more meetings with key world leaders - including Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin - in an effort to lend further credibility to his rule.

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Yoon, who also performed in Pyongyang in 2002, recently explained to CNN his reason for performing. "Originally, I planned to come the day after tomorrow but I adjusted my schedule and came today". "I thank you for this kind of gift to Pyongyang citizens", Kim said. The Authoritative Dictator of the Communist State was ready to meet the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

A 2015 survey of North Korean refugees by the US government's Broadcasting Board of Governors found that 77 percent of respondents said it had become more risky to listen to foreign radio under Kim.

In North Korea, all radio and TV channels are controlled by the government and filled with propaganda. There will be another event on Tuesday that will showcase the talents of South Korean acts.

A North Korean art troupe, the 140-member Samjiyon Orchestra, staged two performances in South Korea last month to celebrate the Olympics.

Is this a start of a harmonious relationship between two countries? The musicians, who arrived in the North Korean capital on Saturday by a chartered civilian flight, included girl group Red Velvet; Seohyun, a member of Girls' Generation; YB, a five-member rock band; Kim Kwang-min, a pianist; and legendary singer Cho Yong-pil.

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When K-Pop boy band Shinhwa performed in North Korea in 2003 as part of a similar cultural diplomacy venture, the audience - dressed in suits and traditional dresses - greeted them with silence and stony stares.

Agence France-Presse posted video of the event, featuring clips of the musical performances as well as glimpses at Kim Jong-un clapping in the balcony of the concert hall.

In previous years K-pop, which has a global following, has been used by Seoul in a very different capacity.

During Sunday's performance at the packed 1,500-seat East Pyongyang Grand Theatre, North Korean concertgoers, most of the men in dark suits but some women in colourful traditional dresses waved their hands from their seats when the South Korean stars joined together to sing a popular Korean song, Our wish is unification.

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