North Korea Preps for Visit From NY Philharmonic

Pyongyang tears down anti-US posters in lead-up to concert
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2008 3:00 PM CST
North Korea Preps for Visit From NY Philharmonic
In this undated (north) Korean Central News Agency photo released on Friday February 22, 2008, by Korea News Service in Tokyo, shown is the exterior view of the East Pyongyang Grand Theater in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang. Next week the New York Philharmonic, the oldest U.S. orchestra, performs...   (Associated Press)

Pyongyang may be shedding some of its anti-US propaganda in preparation for the New York Philharmonic's arrival tomorrow, but many worry Dvorak symphonies Tuesday for the elite will prove an ineffectual olive branch during a time of nuclear negotiations. Pshaw, an assistant secretary of state tells the LA Times: "They are alleging that we have a hostile policy and that's why they need nuclear weapons. The presence of the New York Philharmonic argues against that."

The Philharmonic ensured the concert reaches the largest possible audience, included ethnic Korean musicians, and will close the program with Korean folk music. But while its director's "objective is to prove that we're not ogres," the state-controlled media refers to Americans as "warmongers." And one musician wonders how a concert will help "the people starving in the street." (More music stories.)

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