June 10, 2023

Why North Korea and the U.S. should try a little cultural diplomacy

Pyongyang could harness the zeitgeist and push its soft power

2018 has been a significant year for North Korean cultural diplomacy. Clearly, the primary push has been southward, and coordinated with Kim Jong Un’s overall drive to improve relations with Seoul.

At the recent Pyongyang summit between Kim and Moon Jae-in, musical performances -- and the performers themselves -- played a significant role, going well beyond providing ceremonial trappings or tuneful (and predictably emotional) Arirangs.