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Musicians from South and North Korea cancel planned joint concert in Jeju

All News 17:24 December 19, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- A joint concert by South and North Korean musicians planned for later this month has been cancelled due to a lack of time for preparations despite the government's approval of a trip by a North Korean singer, an organizer said Wednesday.

South Korean violinist Won Hyung-joon, chief artistic director of Seoul-based Lindenbaum Music, was set to hold the concert with North Korean singer Kim Song-mi in the southern resort island of Jeju on Dec. 30 as part of efforts to promote reconciliation between the two sides.

The unification ministry had approved her four-day trip to South Korea from Dec. 28.

"The two sides have agreed to put off the concert. We made the decision in consideration of a lack of time needed to make relevant preparations following the unification ministry's approval of her visit," Won told Yonhap News Agency. "We will seek to hold it next year with a larger scale than originally planned."

Won, 42, is known for his long-time commitment to improving inter-Korean relations through joint music performances, believing that such endeavors can help build trust between the two countries which have been hostile to each other for decades.

In 2015, he tried in vain to push for a joint concert with North Korean musicians at the Joint Security Area located between the two Koreas. The plan fell apart after the North's detonation of land mines at the border area that year, which maimed South Korean soldiers.

The Juilliard School graduate and violist launched the annual Lindenbaum Music Festival in 2009 aimed at promoting peace and harmony through music. The festival was held in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas in August last year, even in the throes of heightened tensions due to the North's nuclear and missile programs.

Singer Kim is said to represent a North Korean arts association in China. The 33-year-old has released a total of six solo albums since 2012.


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