South and North Korea to march together at Asian Games

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un with Chinese President Xi Jinping and their wives in Beijing

To top it all, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise visit to the event and reportedly enjoyed the show and confessed to being a Red Velvet fan. The relations between North Korea and South Korea appear to have thawed which is a positive sign for the forthcoming summit between Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in planned for the end of April.

Kim, the first North Korean leader ever to attend a show by entertainers from the South, shook hands with the performers and "expressed his deep thanks to them", KCNA reported. He also took a group photo with them after their performance, according to North Korea's state news agency and South Korean media pool reports from Pyongyang.

Her views were backed up by an American who runs a charity for North Korean defectors in South Korea, who noted that not only does law enforcement vary according to the political winds, but that in different geographies - such as close to the China border - black market content is easier to acquire than elsewhere. Seohyun, who got her start as a member of the internationally acclaimed group Girls' Generation, was also there as a solo performer.

However, the USA has said that its leader will only hold talks with Kim if North Korea agrees to denuclearize, after Trump agreed to meet him. The art team is in the North to reciprocate a North Korean troupe's performances in South Korea around the time of the Pyongchang Winter Olympics in February.

On Sunday evening, several South Korean pool reporters were barred by their North Korean minders from entering the concert hall.

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"We're seeing a carefully crafted North Korean strategy on diplomacy unfold on the world stage, starting with Beijing", Jean H. Lee, a North Korea expert and fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, told my colleagues in an email last week. The rapprochement was triggered by the South's Winter Olympics, to which the North's leader Kim Jong Un sent athletes, cheerleaders and his powerful sister as an envoy. Much South Korean material - which, unlike Chinese or Hollywood content does not require translation for a North Korean audience - is smuggled in on thumb drives and traded on black markets.

On the more troubled periods of conflict between the two nations, North Korea had described the South and their society practicing a culturally corrupt "bourgeois lifestyle". KCNA denounced a South Korean foreign ministry spokesman for stating that he hoped to see "improvement of the human rights situation in the north". By hosting Mr Kim, China has also tried to see that Russian Federation is cut out of any role of influence when Pyongyang and Washington talk. Korea's Joongang Ilbo reports that 12,000 North Koreans were allowed to attend the second performance.

Analysts saw Kim's trip to China, the North's traditional ally and biggest economic partner, as an attempt to improve strained ties with China to gain leverage before its planned summit with the U.S., which is seen waging a trade war against China.

All of that is leading up to a May meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

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