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    » 02/25/2008, 00.00

    NORTH KOREA

    The New York Philharmonic arrives in Pyongyang, anti US posters disappear



    The orchestra, directed by Lorin Maazel, will perform two concerts beneath the US and North Korean flags. Kim Jong-il along with, according to some, Condoleezza Rice will attend one of the concerts. In Seoul stalwart conservative Lee Myung-bak, takes office.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) – New York’s Philharmonic Orchestra has arrived in Pyongyang to perform the first concert ever by an American company, but the music is composed Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-and is close the hearts of North Koreans.  This is the content of an article which appeared this morning on the Korean Central News Agency, the Stalinist regimes official press agency.

    The report praises the initiative taken by the Orchestra, financed by a wealthy Japanese woman who lives in Italy, but underlines that “Gershwin and Dvorak [composers whose music is due to be preformed according to the program ed] cannot possibly compete with pieces such as ‘Defending the Homeland’, sung by soldiers during the 1950 civil war”.

    This notwithstanding, the North Korean propaganda machine has ordered that all posters that may “offend the American imperialists” be removed from the streets of the capital.   Zarin Mehta, the Orchestra’s executive director, also confirms that during the concert the flags of Washington and Pyongyang will fly “side by side”.

    The concerts will be preformed tomorrow in Pyongyang’s Grand Theatre and the day after in Moranbong. There the Philharmonic will be joined by the North Korean State orchestra under the direction of maestro Lorin Maazel. According to South Korean press, Kim Jong-il and, even if a remote hypothesis, US secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will be present at this second performance.

    According to analysts this new opening up of the regime comes in response to the official installation of the new South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, today in Seoul. Lee, the first conservative president in 10 years, has repeatedly said he has no intention of “blindly cooperating” with Pyongyang.

     

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    See also

    26/03/2008 KOREA
    Stop to North-South family reunions
    For “technical reasons” Pyongyang blocks scheduled family reunions, puts off the inauguration of the permanent centre that would give families divided since the civil war a chance to meet.

    30/12/2011 KOREA
    New dictator, old politics in North Korea
    In a public statement, North Korea’s National Defence Commission issues warning against South Korea and the world. Nothing changes with Kim Jong-un’s rise to power; “traitors” and “puppets” will be crushed. Source tells AsiaNews that there is “nothing new”. It is “a provocation” ahead of Kim Jong-un’s address on 1 January.

    25/05/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Pyongyang says no to train link with south, reasons unclear

    Alleging tensions over West Sea territorial waters, North Korea decided at the last moment to cancel the test run of the new railway line that would have linked the country's north and south. 



    03/04/2009 NORTH KOREA
    North Koreans to launch rocket probably tomorrow
    Send off is almost ready. Japan, United States and South Korea call for UN intervention, but Pyongyang’s ally, China, is likely to veto any fresh sanctions. Rocket launch allows North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il to shore up his power in a prostrate country.

    09/11/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Ex Pyongyang leader: Only Kim's downfall will stop nuclear crisis

    Hwang Jang-yop, one time mentor of Pyongyang's Dear Leader and ex-secretary of the Workers' Party of North Korea, told Seoul MPs that only Chinese cooperation could bring about the fall of the regime. He also slammed the "sunshine policy".





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