North Korean Defectors Bust Out in 'Gangnam Style' Performance in Seoul

Category: Media & Culture / Nov 14, 2012 10:29AM EDT
The Pyongyang Folk Art Troupe, which consists of North Korean defectors, danced to South Korean pop star Psy's hit "Gangnam Style" in Seoul on Wednesday (November 14). The troupe was established in 2002 with 20 North Korean performers who escaped from the reclusive country. Forty-eight-year-old Park Mi-kyung, the leader of the dance troupe, expressed her wish for unification between the two Koreas. "Our group consists of singers, dancers and musical instrument players who worked at the cultural and art area in North Korea. Our aim is for national and cultural homogeneity between two Koreas," she said. When asked about what she thought about North Korea, she said she was optimistic about the future of the reclusive state and its leader Kim Jong-un. "I thought North Korea was opening and reforming its society a little bit. Kim was watching performances with his young wife. They look very friendly. I felt pride as an artist," Park added. North Korea's state-run television KRT has shown footage of Kim and his wife Ri Sol-ju watching dance performances. Employees of Seoul's Korea Export-Import Bank, who invited the dance troupe to perform, said they enjoyed the performance "It's my first time to see this kind of performance and it's very new to me. It's not easy at all to see this kind of performance in South Korea. I enjoyed it a lot. I'd like to see it again," said 25-year-old bank employee Yoo Kyong-hwa. Seoul's unification ministry says more than 24,000 North Koreans have defected to the South since the peninsula split into two countries in 1953.