PYONGYANG, North Korea — Eric Talmadge reports: Step aside, Sea of Blood Opera. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un‘s favorite guitar-slinging, miniskirt-sporting girl group, the Moranbong Band, is back. And these ladies know how to shimmy.
After a six-month hiatus, the queens of North Korea’s pop scene are once again playing to standing-room-only crowds and rave reviews in the state media. They’re the darlings of primetime TV, such as it is. Even athletes at this month’s Pyongyang marathon were treated to one of the band’s livelier tunes – blared at them from a sound truck.
More than merely a pop sensation, the Moranbong Band, said to have been hand-picked by Kim himself, has since its stage debut in 2012 come to be the softer, more hummable face of the new Kim regime, despite speculation at least one of its members had fallen out of favor in connection with the purge of Kim’s once-powerful uncle earlier this year. Read the rest of this entry »