Mansudae art troupe untitled

The Mansudae Art Troupe has performed over 700 times in over 50 countries to "promote the friendship with the progressive peoples of the world."… read more

The troupe has also created 1,500 songs and over 500 instrumental pieces and was awarded the Order of Kim Il-sung in 1972.

Sources: Interviews and discussions by Michael Madden; Baird, Merrily.  Kim Chong-il Agonistes (Forthcoming 2012); Fujimoto, Kenji and Shin, Hyon-ho. Kim Cho ̆ ng-il u ̆ i yorisa . Seoul: Wolgan Chosonsa, 2003; Mansourov, Alexandre Y. “Inside North Korea’s Blackbox: Reversing the Optics” DPRK Policy Elites (Kongdan Oh Hassig, ed.) Alexandria, VA: Institute for Defense Analyses, 2004; Kokita Kiyohito, Tessa Morris-Suzuki and Mark Selden, “Ko Tae Mun, Ko Chung Hee, and the Osaka Origins of North Korean Successor, Kim Jong Un,”   The Asia-Pacific Journal Vol 9, Issue 1 No 2, January 3, 2011 ; “‘Exclusive interivew’ with Sister of Kim Chong Il’s Wife,”  Wolgan Yosong Chungang , November 28, 2000 (in Korean); “AERA Obtains ‘Rare’ Photo of Kim Chong Il’s Wife Ko Yong Hui,”  AERA , February 3, 2003, pp. 14-15 (in Japanese); “‘Respected Mother’ in DPRK Document Said to be Reference to Mother of DPRK Heir,”  Wolgan Choson March 1, 2003, pp. 117-119 (in Korean); “Kim Jong Il’s Daughter Yo’-cho’ng Also Attended School in Switzerland, Living with Her Borther Cho’ng-u’n During the 1990s,” by Katsumi Sawada, Mainichi Shimbun , January 16, 2009 (in Japanese)

North Korea's urban women, therefore, operate in a separate sphere. "That's a distinct group from the impoverished and near-famished countryside — I doubt you'd see a whole lot of miniskirts out there," Cain said.

Like Korean music in general, North Korean music includes kinds of both folk and classical, courtly music, including genres like sanjo , pansori , and nongak . Pansori is long vocal and percussive music played by one singer and one drummer. The lyrics tell one of five different stories, but is individualized by each performer, often with updated jokes and audience participation. Nongak is a rural form of percussion music, typically played by twenty to thirty performers. Sanjo is entirely instrumental that shifts rhythms and melodic modes during the song. Instruments include the changgo drum set against a melodic instrument, such as the gayageum or ajaeng . [6]

Kim Il Sung's first wife died in 1949, and in 1962 he married his former secretary, Kim Song Ae, who became chairwoman of the Democratic Women's Union of Korea, a mass organization. One of their three sons, Kim Pyong Il (named after the son born in Vyatskoye in 1944, who drowned in Pyongyang in 1947), has served as ambassador to several European countries. One of their daughters is married to an army general.

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