Global Politics

New York orchestra visits North Korea

JS says the trip has gotten off to a lovely start, with North Koreans entertaining the orchestra. The trip has a sense of exchange. The concert will be broadcast live on North Korean media and the US and North Korean flags will fly together above the concert hall and the music will open with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner but it's not known whether Kim Jong Il will be present. (Will this be a one off or lead to something else?) I think the orchestra is playing down the possibility of a breakthrough. The negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program are in deadlocks and there are questions about whether this trip should be taking place at all. Condoleezza Rice seemed unimpressed by the prospects of this visit.