BEIJING – North Korean girl band Moranbong has canceled its shows in Beijing, China’s National Center for the Performing Arts said.
Famously handpicked by North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the band was originally scheduled to perform a week of shows in Beijing in a bid to improve relations between the two countries.
The all-female group, which sings synthesizer-backed paeans about the repressive leader’s “warm heart” and “sweet smile,” was scheduled to perform its first show Saturday night.
But the center for performing arts, the venue for the shows, posted a statement on its official Weibo account, saying the North Korean performances have been canceled “for a reason” and apologized to its audience.
A dispatch by China’s state-run Xinhua news agency later cited “communication issues at the working level” as the reason for the cancellation.
“China attaches great importance to cultural exchanges between the two countries, and is willing to work with the DPRK side to promote bilateral exchanges in culture and all other areas,” the dispatch said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
Ji Jae Ryong, North Korea’s ambassador to China, was seen accompanying Moranbong band members out of their hotel around midday and later seen at the Beijing airport with them, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported. – CNN