North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "adjusted his schedule" Sunday to watch the performance of K-pop girl band Red Velvet in Pyongyang. Kim highly praised the popular girl band and later even shook hands with the band members.
Sunday's performance was held at East Pyongyang Grand Theater in Pyongyang, North Korea. After taking out time from his busy schedule, Kim attended the event with his wife Ri Sol Ju, sister Kim Yo Jong and other North Korean officials. TV footage also showed Kim clapping from the VIP stand during the performance.
"There had been interest in whether I would come and see Red Velvet. I had initially planned to attend a performance the day after tomorrow but I came here today after adjusting my schedule," Kim was quoted as saying, according to the Associated Press. "I thank you for this kind of gift to Pyongyang citizens."
Kim later met South Korean stars and asked them to thank South Korean president Moon Jae-in. He also said they should hold more such culture and art performances.
"Please tell (South Korean) President Moon Jae-in how great an event like this is ... I am grateful for a gift like this (concert) to the people of Pyongyang," Kim told the performers.
Red Velvet's band member Joy gave the event a miss and only four of the members – Irene, Seulgi, Wendy and Yeri – performed in North Korea. Their performance was one of the closely watched acts.
"The North's audience applauded to our performance much louder than we expected and even sang along to our songs ... it was a big relief," Red Velvet band member Yeri told reporters, according to Channel NewsAsia.
"I told myself, 'let's do our best even if there's no response (from the audience) ... but they showed so much reaction," Wendy said.
The South Korean pop stars visited Pyongyang as a part of a diplomatic thaw between the two countries. And this was the first time, Kim attended such an event.