중앙데일리

Bach and Beethoven to play a role in diplomatic opening

  PLAY AUDIO

Dec 11,2007
In the latest sign of the thaw in U.S.-North Korean relations the New York Philharmonic orchestra will perform in Pyongyang in late February, according to the New York Times.
The Philharmonic’s spokesman, Eric Latzky, confirmed that the long-rumored trip was on, the newspaper said, but declined to provide further details until a news conference scheduled to be held today in New York.
The two-day trip, at the invitation of North Korea, is planned for Feb. 26, at the end of the orchestra’s tour of China, the newspaper reported.
The news of the first major cultural tour by an American group to North Korea came amidst Washington’s efforts to warm ties with Pyongyang in the aftermath of the nuclear crisis. Just last week, U.S. President George W. Bush sent a letter to his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-il, raising hopes about the prospect for further progress in the nuclear talks and normalization of ties between the two countries.
“It has been the United States’ consistent position that we continue to encourage cultural exchanges with North Korea,” Max Kwak, spokesman of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, said yesterday, commenting on the trip. Calling the trip a private cultural exchange, Kwak refrained from elaborating further.
The Unification Ministry said yesterday that it was not officially informed about the trip, but that more details will be provided once the official announcement is made.
The orchestra has been criticized by some human rights groups for considering the invitation. “It would be a mistake to hand Kim Jong-il a propaganda coup,” the U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea wrote in the New York Times on Sunday, urging that the orchestra demand that the concert be made available to ordinary people and be broadcast on state radio if it is going to take place.


By Ser Myo-ja Staff Reporter [myoja@joongang.co.kr]


dictionary dictionary | 프린트 메일로보내기 내블로그에 저장