King Jong-un announced that Moranbong, North Korea’s all-girl music group will be performing a week’s worth of shows in Beijing, China. According to CNN, the shows come at a time when Jong-un and the country’s capital government in Pyongyang look to “improve relations with its main ally” ahead of a special meeting by the U.N. Security Council.
— NorthKoreaRealTime (@BuckTurgidson79) December 9, 2015
This United Nations council will open discussions tomorrow, December 10, on various accusations of long-perceived human rights violations carried out by the North Korean government, a process that many hope will end with Jong-un being referred to International Criminal Court. China, meanwhile, is one of the countries that holds veto power over the process.
Moranbong, Kim Jong-un’s girl group, was handpicked and established by the dictator himself in 2012. According to CNN, which quoted the North Korean state news agency KCNA, it was created to offer “a model of the Juche-based literature and art and a worldwide stylish band.” The all-girl group uses a backup synthesizer and primarily sings songs written as a tribute to Jong-un’s loving personality, including his “warm heart” and sweet smile,” KCNA noted.
Despite, according to the Telegraph, mixing in “choreography and skirts with dashes of western culture,” Kim Jong-un’s girl group is best known for traditional titles glorifying Jong-un and the state, such as “The Silk Weaving Girl of Nyongbyon,” “We Can’t Live Without His Care,” and “Fluttering Red Flag.” Kim Jong-un’s Moranbong girl group is expected to sing alongside North Korea’s State Merited Chorus, although the venues for its performances have not been announced.
Kim Jong-un’s girl group most recently publicly performed during a September 7 concert in which Pyongyang officials welcomed visitors from a state delegation from Cuba. It had been their first show in seven months.
The news follows the North Korea’s and China’s $156 million border trade zone agreement, which CNN reported on in August, which centers on the Chinese city of Dandong, also known as Pyongyang’s “lifeline” due to the amount of trade that passes through it.
CNN noted that China has continually opposed Jong-un’s attempts to develop a nuclear arsenal since coming into power in 2011. According to the UK Telegraph, Kim Jong-un’s Moranbong group’s six-day “tour of dancehall diplomacy” is aimed almost exclusively at helping “rebuild bridges damaged” by these missile and nuclear tests.
Professor Jeff Kingston, the director of Asian Studies at the Japan campus of Temple University, told the Telegraph, “Pyongyang is clearly trying to mend its ties with China, although it’s not clear what the impact of this kind of ‘soft power’ will have. There are encouraging signs that the relationship is coming out of the deep freeze and Beijing will be very keen to get North Korea back to the negotiating table on things like the nuclear question. For China, the biggest worry is the threat North Korea poses to its own security, whether in terms of its nuclear weapons or a regime collapse that would have a serious impact on the border region.”
The news of Kim Jong-un’s girl group performances also follows reports earlier this year, as documented by the Inquisitr, of the dictator’s establishment of “pleasure squads” at his palace. This controversial policy included the creation of three specific teams: a Happiness Team (Haengbokjo) for massages, a Dancing and Singing Team (Gamujo) for semi-nude performances, and a Satisfaction Team (Manjokjo) for performing some sexual services.