The Korea Herald


Technical crew of S. Korean art troupe leaves for NK

By Jung Min-kyung

Published : March 29, 2018 - 13:53

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The technical crew for the South Korean art troupe set to perform in North Korea departed for Pyongyang Thursday morning, tasked with preparing the stages ahead of the performances. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

The technicians are part of a 190-member South Korean art troupe and taekwondo demonstration team, which includes K-pop artists ranging from veteran singers Cho Yong-pil and Lee Sun-hee to idols Red Velvet and Seohyun.

The art troupe‘s trip to the North is part of the agreement by the two Koreas to have South Korean pop artists perform in Pyongyang. The agreement was reached at working-level talks held on March 20 amid a flurry of diplomatic inter-Korean diplomatic exchanges.

Some 70 technicians left Seoul at about 10:30 a.m. aboard a chartered Eastar Jet flight to Pyongyang via a direct air route over the Yellow Sea, according to Culture Ministry officials. The cargo will be transported via a separate flight provided by Air Incheon.

The crew is expected to install the necessary stage equipment and check the sound systems at the venues selected for the performances.

The artists will perform Sunday and Tuesday at the East Pyongyang Grand Theater and the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium, respectively. Both concerts will be about two hours long.

A rehearsal by artists from the North and South will be held on Monday for the joint concert the next day.

The performers are scheduled to be in North Korea from Saturday to Tuesday. They will be accompanied by some 30 taekwondo players, reporters and government officials on their flight to Pyongyang early Saturday.

The upcoming events mark the first performances by South Korean artists in the North since 2005, when Cho Yong-pil held a solo concert at the Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium.

According to industry sources, Seoul was seeking to include South Korean singer Psy in the lineup, but the artist was unavailable.

A South Korean taekwondo team will also perform at the Taekwondo Hall in Pyongyang on Sunday, and teams from the two Koreas will present a joint performance at Pyongyang Grand Theatre on Monday.

The Unification Ministry will cover a large chunk of the cost of the event, such as the air fare and costs of the performance, while the North will provide accommodations. South Korean artists will stay at the 43-story Koryo Hotel in Pyongyang.

By Jung Min-kyung (