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Seoul pushes Psy to play in North Korea

  • Published at 10:57 pm March 26th, 2018
Seoul pushes Psy to play in North Korea
Seoul is pushing for "Gangnam Style" star Psy to perform in next week's historic concerts by South Korean artists in the North's capital, multiple reports said. A team of at least nine South Korean pop acts are set to visit North Korea next week for two concerts in Pyongyang, the first of their kind for more than a decade. The shows, part of reconciliatory moves ahead of a planned inter-Korean summit in April, feature many top stars including K-pop girlband “Red Velvet.” But Seoul is also seeking to include Psy in the lineup, South Korean media reports said, citing sources in the government and the K-pop industry. The 40-year-old rapper/singer became an international sensation in 2012 when his wacky but catchy "Gangnam Style" music video went viral on Youtube, pushing him into global stardom. The song satirised the lifestyle of the wealthy denizens of Gangnam in Seoul, the South's richest district, and the video has been viewed more than 3 billion times, spawning a host of imitations. "We have formally proposed to the North to add Psy to the lineup," Seoul's MBC TV station late Sunday quoted a Seoul government official as saying. But Pyongyang opposed the idea, it said, adding the conservative North was apparently concerned about the singer's provocative performance style. The K-pop gigs are part of a cross-border deal made earlier this month when Seoul envoys met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to pave the way for dialogue after months of tensions on the flashpoint peninsula. The South's TV dramas and pop songs have taken Asia by storm and despite not being broadcast in the isolated North are known to enjoy growing popularity thanks to flash drives smuggled across the border with China. The authoritarian nation harshly punishes those who possess or view outside cultural material unsanctioned by the state, with offenders facing potential jail terms.