BEIJING– A North Korean art troupe staged a performance in China for a second day on Sunday in a demonstration of close ties between the two countries ahead of a second summit between the North and the United States, diplomatic sources said.
A delegation of senior officials and a 280-strong art troupe, led by Ri Su-yong, vice chairman of the ruling party’s Central Committee, arrived in Beijing on Thursday for the show.
North Korea announced the performance plan early last week and began its performances at the National Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday.
Saturday’s performance was the first of its kind since the North’s Moranbong Band called off a planned performance in Beijing at the last minute in 2015 after China reportedly took issue with aspects of the performance featuring the North’s nuclear and missile development.
The art troupe’s dispatch comes a few weeks after the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, made his fourth visit to China in less than a year and held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in an apparent show of strengthening relations between the two countries in the run-up to a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump set for late next month.
Chinese President Xi Jinping could have possibly been in the auditorium for Sunday’s planned performance, but it has not been confirmed, the sources said.
The North Korean artists are expected to perform again on Monday. Xi and his wife, Peng Liyuan, are widely predicted to show up at the last performance.
Source: Yonhap News Agency