Singer Cho says music can connect two Koreas

April 4, 2018
This photo taken April 1, 2018, shows South Korean singer Cho Yong-pil rehearsing ahead of a performance by a South Korean art troupe at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

This photo taken April 1, 2018, shows South Korean singer Cho Yong-pil rehearsing ahead of a performance by a South Korean art troupe at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre in Pyongyang. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) — Veteran singer Cho Yong-pil, a key member of the South Korean artist troupe to Pyongyang, has suggested that music can serve as a tool for the two Koreas to communicate emotionally.

The 160-member group returned home early Wednesday after staging two concerts in Pyongyang.

“Just like the concert’s title, I believe we can communicate emotionally through music,” Cho said during a rehearsal Tuesday for a joint concert with North Korean musicians titled “We Are One.”

“Despite differences in genre and differences between North and South musical styles, we have the same language and share a sense of common identity,” he said, according to a pool report.

Cho belted out his hits songs at Tuesday’s concert, including “Mona Lisa” and “Dear Friend.” He stood on stage despite suffering from a throat infection.

The singer thanked his fellow South Korean artists for preparing well despite the tight schedule. The singer also said he was surprised by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s appearance at the first concert in the two-part series Sunday. “I didn’t know (Kim was attending) and was very surprised.”

Cho is South Korea’s foremost pop icon, having sold over 10 million albums throughout his career. The singer plans to launch a nationwide tour in May to mark the 50th anniversary of his debut.

The singer previously threw a solo concert in Pyongyang in 2005 in front of a crowd of 7,000.

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