North Korea Stages First-Ever Concerts by State Choir in Russia

North Korea staged the first performances by its military-staffed state choir in Russia this week, including at the Russian capital’s main concert hall.

The packed event at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, whose audience included members of the North Korean diaspora and Russian servicemen, featured tributes to the isolated Communist country’s leader, Kim Jong-Un.

While Kim declined an invitation to visit Moscow in May for the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II, Russia has stepped up aid to North Korea, promising to build infrastructure and increasing shipments of coal, oil and timber.

The State Merited Chorus of the Korean People’s Army was set up in 1947 by North Korea’s founder, Kim Il-Sung, who attended more than 140 concerts by the ensemble.

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