Pyongyang orchestra to tour in U.S.

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Pyongyang orchestra to tour in U.S.

ATLANTA - An Atlanta-based nonprofit is planning to bring North Korea’s national orchestra to the U.S. for a tour that would start in the city, according to the group’s president.

The North Korean National Symphony Orchestra would bring 164 musicians and journalists for an 18-day visit that would also include stops in Oxford, Mississippi, and New York, said Robert Springs, the president of Global Resource Services, a humanitarian group that works in North Korea.

He said he hopes the visit will take place in the spring but the details are still being worked out and it awaits government approval. Springs has scheduled a press conference on Thursday to release more details about the trip. The U.S. State Department did not immediately comment. Springs’ group has sent three musical groups to North Korea over the last 14 years, including Christian rock group Casting Crowns.

“The hope is that we can better understand the people of North Korea and that they can better understand us,” he said, “and that could lead to more normalized relations.”

The deal comes amid encouraging signs that ties between the U.S. and North Korea could be warming.

Both nations announced an agreement last month calling for Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear activities and allow UN nuclear inspections in exchange for food aid.

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