Should the Moranbong Band Be Allowed to Play at the Winter Olympics?

It looks like the Moon administration may allow the Moranbong Band to actually do a performance in South Korea as part of the Olympic festivities:

Hyon Song-wol, the leader of North Korea’s Moranbong singing troupe and reportedly a former girlfriend of leader Kim Jong-un.

Drawing keen attention is whether the North would send its famous “Moranbong Band,” an all-female ensemble hand-picked by the North’s leader Kim Jong Un. One of the North Korean delegates to the talks is Hyon Song Wol, the head of the Moranbong Band, the Unification Ministry said.

Since its first stage debut in 2012, the band is hugely popular at home and has been dubbed by outsiders as “North Korea’s only girl group” for its Western-style performances featuring women in mini-skirts and high heels dancing and singing odes to Kim.

The band is one of the ways Kim had tried to project an image of youth and modernity since becoming leader in 2011, though expectations he might be different from his dictator father have faded after he executed top officials including his own uncle in an apparent effort to bolster his grip on power.

“It’s certain the Moranbong Band would come given Hyon Song Wol was among the North Korean delegates,” said analyst Cheong Seong-Chang at South Korea’s private Sejong Institute. “But if they come dressed in military uniforms, that could cause strong resistance. If they put praise of Kim Jong Un or a missile launch scene in the background on stage, that could trigger bigger controversy.”  [Associated Press]

You can read more at the link, but the ROK has to be very careful that they don’t end up singing something praising the Kim regime during the Olympics.  They tried to do that in 2015 during a trip to China and the authorities there found out about it and cancelled the performance.  Will the Moon administration be willing to do the same thing?  If not then it seems wise to not invite them in the first place.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


  1. I think the Moranbong Band should be allowed to perform, as an opening act for one of K-pop’s all girl groups. The comparison would be uproarious.

  2. OT – What in the world does Roy Orbison have to do with the Socialist song styles of the Moranbong Band? Also, I am a big Roy Orbison fan especially during his days as a part of the Traveling Wilburys.

  3. I could see them praising their masters and making SK look even more like patsies.

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