Just two days ago, Maxim reported that the biggest pop sensation of Asia was hitting China for a series of three “friendship performances.”
We’re not talking about South Korea’s PSY but rather North Korea’s most popular 18-member girl group, Moranbong Band. With club bangers like “Let’s Support Our Supreme Commander with Arms” and “Our Dear Leader,” the group marries the infectious synths of electropop with the catchy ballads of failing authoritarian dictatorships.
These girls perform like their lives depend on it. Oh right…
However, just as avid fans of DPRK-pop were lining up in droves to sing along to “Silk Weaving Girl of Nyongbyon,” members were caught sneaking out of the country at the Beijing airport. Dressed in inconspicuous North Korean military garb, the songstresses were quietly whisked away, and their three performances in China were abruptly called off.
That’s too bad, because we were really dying to hear “Do Prosper, Era of the Workers’ Party.”
Edward Wong of The New York Times writes, “The sudden departure of the band appeared to highlight the mercurial and secretive nature of Mr. Kim and his government. It also raised questions about the state of relations between China and North Korea, which have been rocky at times since Mr. Kim took power in late 2011.”
To borrow a term from Taylor Swift, this #squad of leggy beauties, hand-picked by Kim Jong-un, may not seem overtly political. However, many saw their visit as a sign of improving North Korean-Chinese relations, which teeter between “We are allies forever” and “We have hydrogen bombs! Back off!”
Though Chinese fans will never get to hear that rendition of “Sea of Apples at Foot of Chol Pass,” many of their best performances have been uploaded to YouTube by a fan channel called “DPRK Music Fan,” which is totally a real fan channel and definitely not Kim Jong-un. Watch below: