South Korean Maestro Concludes Goodwill Visit to Pyongyang

Posted September 15th, 2011 at 3:40 am (UTC-5)
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Renowned conductor Chung Myung-whun was on his way home to South Korea Thursday after a four-day visit to Pyongyang aimed at fostering closer relations through cultural exchanges.

North Korea's official media released television footage of the maestro's arrival and departure in Pyongyang but not of his activities. However the KCNA news agency said Wednesday he watched and conducted two orchestras in North Korea, including the State Symphony Orchestra.

The agency said Chung also had discussions with members of the creative community.

Chung, who serves as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations children's agency UNICEF, said he hoped to ease relations between the two Koreas through inter-Korean art projects such as concerts and music programs for children.

The visit comes as Seoul moves cautiously to improve ties with Pyongyang. Earlier this month, Seoul named a new unification minister and allowed a religious delegation to visit Pyongyang for a joint Buddhist service.