Seoul confirms lineup for NK, Psy left off

By Yoon Min-sik
  • Published : Mar 27, 2018 - 17:32
  • Updated : Mar 27, 2018 - 17:40

The South Korean government on Tuesday confirmed the final lineup, size and schedule for its art troupe that will perform in North Korea next month.

In a briefing held at the Seoul Government Complex, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism officially announced the lineup of Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Choi Jin-hee, YB led by Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Ji-young, Jung-in, Seohyun, Ali, girl group Red Velvet, Kang San-ae and jazz pianist Kim Kwang-min.

Hwang Seong-woon, the spokesman for the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, speaks during a press briefing held Tuesday at the Seoul Government Complex. (Yonhap)

Global star Psy did not make the roster.

“Psy was considered, but it has been decided that he will not join the troupe this time,” said ministry spokesman Hwang Seong-woon.

The art troupe’s visit will be from Saturday to April 3, with the first performance taking place at 5 p.m. Pyongyang time -- 30 minutes behind Korean Standard Time -- on Sunday at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre, which can accommodate 12,000 people. The second concert, a joint South-North performance, will be held at Ryugyong Chung Ju-yung Gymnasium on April 3.

Both concerts will be about two hours long. A joint rehearsal of South and North artists will be held on April 2. The broadcast equipment will be provided by the North’s Korean Central Television, while South Korea’s MBC will film and edit the concerts.

It is unclear when the performances will be broadcast here.

Three Culture Ministry officials and four Unification Ministry officials, along with other officials from the National Intelligence Service and Cheong Wa Dae, will be among government officials accompanying the 190-member team of artists, staff, reporters and singer-songwriter and producer Yun Sang, who is the musical director of the group. They will board an Eastar Jet plane at Gimpo International Airport at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The cargo will be transported via a chartered Air Incheon plane.

Hwang said further details on the concerts, such as the songs, North Korean artists and North Korean officials attending the concerts, have yet to be decided.

A taekwondo team from South Korea will perform at the Taekwondo Hall in Pyongyang on Sunday, and teams from the two Koreas will perform at Pyongyang Grand Theatre on Monday. Each team will perform for about 25 minutes, and then hold a joint demonstration for five minutes.

The Unification Ministry will shoulder most of the associated costs of the visit, 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 Yoon Min-sik