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North Korea’s Moranbong Band Makes A Comeback With Concert In Pyongyang

by Ji Hyun Joo / Sep 11, 2015 02:43 PM EDT

The popular all-female music band in North Korea, Moranbong, has disappeared from the country’s broadcasts since mid-July sparking rumors that they may have parted ways after three years together, according to the South Korean news outlet Yonhap News.

The rumors were recently put to rest as Moranbong band, which was created by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, made an appearance on stage at a big concert in Pyongyang, according to BBC News.

“At the end of the performance, stormy cheers of ‘hurrah’ resounded through the theater,” reported state media.

“Kim Jong-un warmly waved back, to the enthusiastic cheers of the performers and the audience.”

A reason for the girl group’s disappearance has yet to be disclosed.

A new group called Chongbong Band was reportedly formed in July around the time that Moranbong disappeared, raising speculation that there was a rivalry between the groups. North Korea’s state news agency reportedly described the new group as a “promising revolutionary art troupe.”

The members of both groups reportedly wear Western-style outfits and sing music that’s not traditional to North Korean culture. The women are reportedly seen wearing short skirts and tight clothes that avoid breaching North Korean decorum, but can still be considered “conservative sexy.”

Moranbong’s comeback was a great one for North Korea, as violinist Sonu Hyang-hui, who is the band’s leader and known as “the closest thing North Korea has to an instrumental pop star,” was seen in the performance. Western media outlets have applauded the return of Moranbong as well.

“[The band is] not what you’d expect from an unfashionably totalitarian regime where grey is the new grey,” wrote the U.K. Daily Telegraph.

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