Inter-Korea Thaw Inspires Tune

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Inter-Korea Thaw Inspires Tune

Ahn Byung-won, composer of the song "Our Wish is Unification," long known and loved in South Korea, has released a follow-up ode to unification called "Our Beautiful Town." It was written in collaboration with a Kim Ah-pil, a North Korean writer of children's stories living in Japan.

Mr. Ahn composed the song in February after he received a letter from Mr. Kim. In his letter Mr. Kim suggested that they "write a new song which the separated families of the North and South can sing together with joy when they are reunited in the future."

Mr. Kim included suggestions for lyrics in his letter: "In our town full of beautiful flowers, the sun always shines/ Oh, those fresh, colorful, blossoming flowers/ When we arrive there together hand in hand/ Pretty birds will sing the old song happily/ They will sing happily."

Mr. Ahn finished composing the melody for the lyrics in March and sent Mr. Kim a copy for approval. The recorded version, performed by a quartet of North Korean women called "Bloody Sea," was finished six months later. Mr. Ahn says that his wish to help promote reunification of the peninsula eventually overrode his concerns that the song could be used for political purposes. Mr. Kim said in a phone interview Saturday; "I thought it was a good idea for North and South to make the unification song together. That's why I asked Mr. Ahn to compose the music."

The recording is now on sale in Japan, and is being marketed for Korean listeners.

by Sung Shi-yoon

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