Just hours before the the first of three invitation-only “friendship” concerts meant to revive relations with China, North Korea suddenly canceled the performances—and put its leggy girl pop group on an Air Koryo flight back to Pyongyang. Beijing’s 2,200-seat National Center for the Performing Arts, where the 21-member Moranbong Band had been scheduled to perform Saturday for Chinese officials, dignitaries, and business leaders, said only that the shows had been canceled “due to certain reasons.” China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported that the concerts “cannot be staged as scheduled due to communication issues at the working level.” So what happened to North Korea’s “dancehall diplomacy”? Speculation is rife that North Korea’s volatile young leader, Kim Jong Un, ordered the band back home to silence chatter about his past sexual relationship with Hyon Song Wol, the leader of the pop group, whose members … [Read more...] about Is This Pop Star in Bed With Kim Jong Un?
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FILE - In this June 30, 2019, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump prepare to shake hands at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. On Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, North Korea’s supreme decision-making institution has lashed out at planned U.S.-South Korean drills and warned that the United States will face “bigger threat and harsh suffering” if it ignores North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s end-of-year deadline to salvage the nuclear diplomacy. less FILE - In this June 30, 2019, file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and U.S. President Donald Trump prepare to shake hands at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South ... more Photo: Susan Walsh, AP Photo: Susan Walsh, AP … [Read more...] about North Korea issues warning over US-South Korea drills
On Sunday, North Korean singer Hyon Song Wol crossed into South Korea with six other members of her advance team, which will spend two days planning cultural performances at the Winter Olympics by the North’s singers, dancers, and pop musicians. Hyon, known as the “girl on a steed” after her most famous song, passed through the Demilitarized Zone in a bus. She was greeted in Seoul by what The New York Times called “a media frenzy.” In addition to Hyon’s 140-strong art troupe, North Korea will send a cheering squad of 230 members and hundreds of others, including a taekwondo demonstration team and officials. Hyon’s visit is part of a geopolitical gambit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in to join together the two rival Korean states. At the Pyeongchang Games, to be held east of Seoul beginning Feb. 9, the South and North Korean teams will march in the Opening Ceremony together under one flag, showing a united Korean nation. The two rival … [Read more...] about ‘The Seoul Syndrome’ and the ‘Pyongyang Olympics’? South Korea on Thin Ice
Washington (CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's visit to the White House on Wednesday -- a month after President Donald Trump's withdrawal of US troops from Syria triggered a Turkish onslaught -- was already set to make waves. Then Democrats announced they would begin public impeachment hearings the same day. Now, the hotly anticipated diplomatic encounter with Turkey's strongman leader has assumed even more weight as Trump navigates the start of the inquiry's public phase alongside a counterpart skilled in capitalizing on Trump's vulnerabilities. As Trump sits for Oval Office talks and later convenes a joint news conference with Erdoğan, two senior US diplomats will be testifying across town about the President's dealings with Ukraine. Both expressed their concerns in closed depositions about the role Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani had assumed in navigating US policy. Trump to hold news conference with Turkish President on day of House's first public … [Read more...] about Trump to meet Turkey’s Erdoğan on first day of public impeachment hearings