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North-South Koreas’ Joint Music
News Bytes 05/14/2019 27 Comments

South Korean violinist Won Hyung Joon nodded to North Korean soprano Kim Song Mi and placed his instrument on his shoulder. So began a rare joint performance that many people hope will bring the two Koreas closer—despite deadlocked nuclear discussions.

Won and Kim performed with a Chinese orchestra at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center on Sunday. After the last notes, they held hands and bowed to thunderous applause from the mostly Chinese audience.

“Today was the day my dream finally came true,” Won says.

The concert came three days after South Korea accused North Korea of firing two missiles toward the sea, the second such weapons test by Pyongyang (NK) in less than a week.

It was Won and Kim’s first concert with a musician from the other side of the Korean border. They met several times last year in Beijing and agreed to perform together to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.

It’s extremely rare for musicians from both Koreas to perform together. Contact between the two sides is so restricted that North and South Koreans can’t exchange phone calls, letters, or emails without special government approval.

Last year saw several cross-border exchanges after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un began talks over the future of his nuclear weapons. A group of North Korean dancers and singers performed in South Korea during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. South Korean pop stars later flew to Pyongyang and sang for Kim Jong Un and his wife. Both events were the first of their kind in over a decade.

But such exchanges are becoming rare again as North Korea resumes weapons tests.

The Bible recognizes the soothing effect of music. (1 Samuel 16:14-23) South Korean analyst Cho Han Bum says Won and Kim’s performance might improve ties between the Koreas. Still, Sunday’s concert is unlikely to cause a global political breakthrough.

Won and Kim hope to organize concerts around the world—in Pyongyang, Seoul, or perhaps even Washington. He says, “I can’t help but think maybe, just maybe, it’ll bring more opportunities like this in the future.”

(South Korean violinist Won Hyung Joon and North Korean soprano Kim Song Mi perform at the Shanghai Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai on Sunday, May 12, 2019. AP Photo/Dake Kang)

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Most recent comments

Hope For The Future (AH)

Could this be the end of the division between the two countries?

Wow. I hope that there are

Wow. I hope that there are more opportunities for things like this, so North and South Korea can live in peace with one another.

Garrett v





wow! this is amazing. music draws you. for sure!


I like the ladie's dress


I play violin, and I'm about to get to play in an orchestra. How 'bout you guys?

@ Andrew H

Wow! I play piano and I am going to play in my church soon!

Neat!! I hope this helps!!!

Neat!! I hope this helps!!! Andrew H: I am trying to learn how to play flute. I also play recorder and a little piano. I like the ladies dress!!

Andrew H.

What type of orchestra?

I see a harp in the

I see a harp in the background of the picture!!! I play the harp too!


It's a summer youth orchestra in Kentucky that multiple people I know recommended to me. There were two "levels" of orchestra there, and I chose the older one, because I would be too good for the younger one! If it turns out I enjoy playing in the orchestra, I plan to join it for the rest of the year and so forth. (I hope to make it to the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra one day, and hopefully, some sort of Disney orchestra!) (Meaning that I would work for Disney.) I have been playing violin for over four years now and now having my third teacher. (Suprisingly, all of whom said i was the best student that they've had!)

I hope North and South Korea

I hope North and South Korea keep doing things like this.
The main violinist looks kinda worried but all the rest are so calm.

@ Beth

He's probably concentrating, people tend to make weird faces when they do that. But you're right, he does look a bit worried :-)

Andrew H: Wow that's cool!!

Andrew H: Wow that's cool!! Lena P: Yeah, my brother is SUPER good at piano, and when he plays, he moves his mouth! Its SO funny to watch him!!

Andrew that is very cool!

Andrew that is very cool! Alyssa my brother does that to! He moves his mouth when he's playing!


Thank you!

@ Andrew H

wow! interesting! that sounds fun!

@ Alyssa S

when people play instruments they tend to make weard faces, like me I can't talk when I play the piano if I do I talk all weard like i'm singing or something then I get all squeaky and don't remember what I was about to say!! and my dad (who never played an insterment in his life) dosen't understan that I can't smile when I PLAY!!!!! I don't know why! I just can't!!! ; ) XD!!

I know!! I used to have a

I know!! I used to have a piano teacher, and for a couple of songs, she made me SING as I played piano!! It was so hard!!!

To Emelia and Nadia

To Emelia and Nadia

@ Alyssa S

I could NEVER EVER do that!!! xD!!!

I like singing when I play

I like singing when I play piano! It actually helps me memorize the notes! I of course don't do it for recitals though.

Nadia A.

I had to sing for like 2 or 3 songs when I was about 7 or 8, and I remember coming home and just CRYING when I tried to sing!!

To Above

ha!ha! when my little brother was about 5 me and him did a duet at our church I played piano and he sang Nothing But the Blood. it was so cute!

Nadia A.

Aww.. That must've been cute!

To Above

Yes it was! : D

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