K-pop stars to perform in North Korea in art troupe visit

They wowed the crowd at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang with hits like “Peek-a-boo” and “Bad Boy,” and soon the girls from K-pop group Red Velvet will be synchronizing their steps on a stage in the North Korean capital.

The all-girl singing quintet will be part of a troupe of South Korean pop stars who’ll be performing in Pyongyang, the South Korean Unification Ministry announced Tuesday.

It will be the first time since 2005 that South Korean performers have gone to North Korea to put on shows.

South and North Korea held face-to-face talks Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone to discuss the upcoming trip.

There’s been an uptick in diplomatic back-and-forth between Seoul and Pyongyang since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in January that his country was interested in sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics.

That set off a flurry of diplomatic activity between the two Koreas; they each sent high-level delegations to meet the other’s leaders, with promises for a summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

A surprise invitation to President Donald Trump to meet with Kim was quickly accepted, and now diplomats have been traveling the world to discuss preparations for the summits.

Seoul committed to sending a delegation of 160 performers, which will include Red Velvet as well as singers Cho Yong-pil, Lee Sun-hee, Choi Jin Hee, Yoon Do-hyun, Baek Z Young, Jung-in, Seohyun and Ali.

The performers will be in Pyongyang from March 31 to April 3. Each act will hold two performances at the city’s East Pyongyang Grand Theatre and Ryugyong Jong Ju Yong Gymnasium.

K-pop is one of the most notable exports to come out of South Korea in the past decade. Most idols train for years in singing, dancing, acting and learning Asian languages before they are allowed to debut their first song.