From New York Times:
PYONGYANG, North Korea — Projected on a scrim, the gently falling “snow” speckled the precisely twirling figures at the Mansudae Art Theater in a dance depiction of Korean Communists’ guerrilla action against the Japanese. At the climax, a nighttime scene of downtown Pyongyang materialized, with warm lights glowing in the high-rise buildings.
Outside, in real Pyongyang, where electricity is often scarce, most buildings were dark. Malnutrition persists in the countryside. Yet North Korea presented a lavish welcome on Monday to its latest visiting delegation, the New York Philharmonic: a gala performance of traditional music and dance, and an endless banquet with quail eggs, roast mutton and pheasant-ball soup.
American and North Korean diplomats are now haggling over Pyongyang’s promise to abandon its nuclear weapons program, and the United States has dangled the prospect of a formal peace treaty to end the Korean War if the country ultimately complies. But the orchestra’s heavily choreographed visit — to include master classes, tours of the town and a concert on Tuesday night — is the first hint of a broader thaw in a half-century-long cultural standoff. Read the rest.
So there has been an on-going discussion of this particular visit to North Korea – my question is: When did North Korea cease to be one of the ‘axis of evil’ and nuclear weapon developing totalitarian regime with a crazy dictator Kim Jong-il? Will the symphony do what diplomats cannot? Do we really need to make peace with North Korean regime and thus indirectly approve of their totalitarian dystopia? Whatever happened to “spreading freedom”? Continue reading