North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met members of the Samjiyon orchestra that had performed at the ongoing PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea and congratulated them on their success, state media reported on Tuesday.
Kim had a photo session with the members of the 140-member group when they returned to Pyongyang on Monday and praised their “high artistic ability”, reports Efe news.
“Kim Jong-un warmly congratulated the orchestra upon its successes by conveying the warm mind of the people in the North, who are hoping for the successful Winter Olympics and national reconciliation,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
According to KCNA, the leader received a report from the orchestra about the atmosphere during their performances and said he was pleased that “the fellow countrymen in the South, including President Moon Jae-in and his wife expressed satisfaction over the performances”.
Concerts in South Korea by the orchestra, led by Hyon Song-wol, who is also part of the famous North Korean all-female band Moranbong, were a part of agreements signed in January by the two Koreas about the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics, which started on February 7 in PyeongChang.
The group held a concert on February 8 in the South Korean city of Gangneung, an Olympic venue, and another on Sunday 11 in the National Theater of South Korea, attended by Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister and Kim Yong-nam, leader of the North’s national assembly.
Samjiyon’s performances were the first by North Korean artists in the South since 2002.