On March 20, representatives from North and South Korea planned a three-day visit of South Korean artists to perform in Pyongyang, North Korea. The lineup included many artists, with Red Velvet being the only girl group.
After the news broke out, many netizens became curious to the reason for such a particular selection of the artists. Especially Red Velvet, who was the only group out of all solo artists. Red Velvet debuted with ‘Happiness’ in 2014, and possess many hit-songs such as ‘Ice Cream Cake,’ ‘Russian Roulette’ and ‘Red Flavor.’
People are assuming that Red Velvet was chosen considering their popoularity in North Korea. Apparently, Red Velvet possess a large fandom among the youths in North Korea. In fact, in 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a North Korean athlete was seen singing Red Velvet’s ‘Ice Cream Cake.’
Another opinion states that Red Velvet fit the closed culture of North Korea. A political critic Lee Jong-hyun appeared on YTN broadcasting channel and said, “the idol group culture will come as a shock to the majority of North Koreans. Thus, our government had put a lot of thoughts into considering the artists. I’m assuming they chose Red Velvet because North Korea favors the color red. In addition, their lyrics are relatively easier to understand.”
Meanwhile, people are also wondering why a boy group was not included in the line up.
In response, some officials of the industry said that “the flashy choreography and music of boy groups may come on too strong for North Korean citizens.” Furthermore, others suggest that groups that represent the male groups, such as BTS or EXO, are too busy to clear the schedule for the trip.
South Korean artists, including Red Velvet, Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Ji-young, and others will visit Pyongyang from March 31 to April 3. During this time, they will perform twice at the East Pyongyang Grand theater and Pyongyang Arena. Red Velvet commented, “we are honored to be participating in such a meaningful event. We will give our best effort to make a great performance.”
Translated by Dasol Kim
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