DPRK's Moranbong Band: Who are they? What do they perform?
By Yao Ya'nan
The famous Moranbong Band from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) took center stage at Monday's inter-Korea talks. The leader of the band, Hyon Song Wol, was one of the four delegates chosen to attend the talks.
The talks came as the DPRK proposed sending a performing arts group to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Pyongyang boycotted the last time the Olympics came to the Republic of Korea (ROK) – the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul – making this the first Games the DPRK will attend in the neighboring country.
So who makes up the band and what do they perform?
The Moranbong Band, also known as the Moran Hill Orchestra, was formed in 2012 by DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. It is the country's first all-female band and quickly became a cultural symbol, performing interpretive styles of pop, rock, and fusion.
It has been referred to as the "DPRK version of the Spice Girls" by US media. Members of the band hold high ranks in the military, making the group somewhat of a "military orchestra" instead of a "pop band."
The band has performed many songs in praise of Kim Jong Un, many of which also feature military-themed lyrics.