N. Korea invites S. Korean artists and Taekwondo demonstration team to perform in North Korea

남한 예술단 평양 초청, 16년만에 평양행 이뤄지나

Pyongyang invited Seoul's taekwondo demonstration and performing arts teams to North Korea to put on a show there.
Visible signs of willingness to keep the current reconciliatory momentum going.
Park Ji-won sheds light on this development as well as possible inter-Korean cultural exchanges.

The proposed arts performances would be the first time that any South Korean arts company has given a performance in North Korea's capital Pyongyang since 2002,... when South Korea's KBS Symphony Orchestra performed together with the North's State Symphony Orchestra.
They played a variety of pieces, including Arirang,... Korea's traditional folk song that has been sung on the peninsula well before it was divided in the mid-20th century.
A few days later,... a South Korean rock band and singers took to the stage,.. together with North Korean singers.
Since then,... other cultural performances occasionally continued at the Mount Kumgang resort,... until all cultural exchanges stopped in 2008.
But last month,... North Korea's arts companies resumed inter-Korean cultural exchanges with performances in the South to mark the PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

Performance likely to be held after summit talks between two Koreas } No specific dates of a possible performance in Pyongyang by a group from the South have yet been revealed,... but it is expected that the performances will likely be held after summit talks between the leaders of the two Koreas.
The performances are expected to include a range of genres, such as traditional music, classical music, and even K-pop performances.
Considering that North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam reportedly said to the Korea National Ballet's artistic director Kang Sue-jin last month during his visit to Seoul,... that it'd be nice if the ballet company could perform in North Korea,... a ballet performance might also be included.
Experts say, however,... that while cultural exchanges are helpful for creating a positive mood around inter-Korean relations,... they won't have any significant impact on solving real political issues on the peninsula.
"It creates a spirit of good feeling and it helps to keep the momentum of inter-Korean negotiations moving. But i don't think it actually is substantial. My concern is that they don't actually really narrow the strategic divide between the two Koreas, so they're more like window dressing. You know they create some atmosphere, they create some positive momentum, but they don't really get to the major issues between the two Koreas."

South Korea's culture ministry officials told local media Wednesday that they have started to discuss specifics about the performances with the Unification Ministry.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.

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