Musical exchange with North Korea

by Charlie Crooijmans

Who has not seen the video yet of the performance of five young North Korean accordionists playing A-Ha’s Take on me on Youtube? This weekend the quintet from the Kum Song (Gold Star) Music School Ensemble played at the Barents Spektakel in Norway. It’s rare to hear or see anything from the most isolated country in the world. Even after the death of the Great Leader Kim Jong-Il and the succession by his youngest son Kim Jong-Un, North Korea remains an extremely secluded communist dictatorship. What made this musical exchange possible?

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