North Korean leader Kim attends South Korean concert in Pyongyang - Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim attends South Korean concert in Pyongyang - Yonhap

It marks the first by South Korean artists to perform in the North since Cho held a solo concert in Pyongyang in 2005.

Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Do Jong Whan, who is leading the delegation, told reporters at the airport that he hopes the performance will play a role in the arrival of a "peaceful spring" on the Korean Peninsula.

As many as 160 K-pop musicians could take part in the concerts; such top musicians as Cho Yong Pil, the five-strong Red Velvet female band (except for one of its members, Joy, who didn't join her bandmates due to scheduling conflicts with the drama she's now starring in and was harshly slammed on social media for her being absent) and the solo singer Seohuyn will perform for their North Korean neighbors.

The young couple were seen clapping their hands during the two-hour event - also attended by Kim's powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, and ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam.

As part of its ongoing diplomatic efforts with North Korea, Seoul will send a 160-member art troupe to Pyongyang for a series of concerts held between March 31 and April 3.

South Korean artists pose for a photo at the Pyongyang International Airport on Saturday.

The event comes ahead of the April 27 summit, when South Korean President Moon Jae-in is set to meet with Kim at a border village.

In February, the 26-year old performed alongside North Korea's 137-strong Samjiyon Orchestra, which was part of North Korea's art troupe during the recent Winter Games.

More news: Jose Mourinho tips Romelu Lukaku to keep improving

The third inter-Korean summit - there were also meetings in 2000 and 2007 - is due to be held on 27 April.

A South Korean artistic group that included 11 K-pop singers and girl band Red Velvet arrived in Pyongyang Saturday for two performances.

Such deployments during past drills has frequently drawn an angry response from Pyongyang.

Joy, one of the five members, missed the trip to Pyongyang due to her TV drama shooting schedule.

Despite the North's isolation and strict curbs on unauthorised foreign culture, backed up by prison terms, K-pop has become increasingly popular there thanks to flash drives smuggled across the border with China.

Singer Lee Sun-hee, known for her ballads, and veteran singer Cho Yong-pil are other notable singers in the troupe. The South Korean government confirmed that the Gangnam Style singer had been considered for the roster, but didn't make the final cut.

They have won over buttoned-up investors at a banking conference with their jingles about teenage love, but the K-pop girl band Red Velvet is about to face what may be its toughest audience yet: North Korea.

During the taekwondo event, a previously raptured audience member turned stone-faced when the athletes showcased a performance combining K-pop dance and Taekwondo routines to a hit song of ultra-popular boyband BTS.

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