|Revised Romanization||Eunhasu Gwanhyeonakdan|
The Unhasu (Milky Way) Orchestra (Korean : 은하수관현악단; MR : Ŭnhasu Gwanhyŏnaktan) is a possibly disbanded musical group based in Pyongyang, North Korea. It performs primarily with Western instruments, sometimes performing alongside traditional Korean soloists. The orchestra has a concert hall, the Unhasu Theater in Pyongyang, dedicated for its use. Ri Sol-ju, the wife of Kim Jong-un, was a singer in this group.
On 14 March 2012, the South Korean conductor Myung-whun Chung led the combined orchestras of Unhasu Orchestra and the Radio France Philharmonic in the Salle Pleyel concert hall in Paris, France.The pan-Korean folk song called "Arirang" was played.
On August 29, 2013, The Chosun Ilbo reported, based on anonymous sources in China, that key members of the Moranbong Band and Unhasu Orchestra were made to watch the execution by firing squad of certain members of the Unhasu Orchestra, including violinist Mun Kyong-jin, members of the Wangjaesan Light Music Band, and the singer Hyon Song-wol (since seen alive on NK television in 2014), on the orders of Kim Jong-un. – but a great deal of it is probably not." Delury also added: "The normal standards of journalism are thrown out of the window because the attitude is: 'It's North Korea – no one knows what's going on in there.'" Hyon Song-wol, the focus of many of the reports, was later shown to be alive and well.According to the Chosun Ilbo report, the Unhasu Orchestra was then disbanded. The executed members of the band have been named by the music journalist Norman Lebrecht as the concertmasters Moon, Gyeong-Jin, and Jung, Sun-Young. Other reporters are skeptical of The Chosun Ilbo report, such as Chad O'Carroll of NK News, a North Korean analyst website. O'Carroll told Business Insider, "You've got to remember that a lot of the time the source is South Korean and it's in their interest to distort or perhaps weave the truth every now and then." John Delury from the Yonsei University in Seoul, told The Guardian, "This stuff gets planted regularly in media outlets and then quickly goes viral. There's a global appetite for any North Korea story and the more salacious the better. Some of it is probably true
Alejandro Cao de Benós said that the news was false and the orchestra would perform on September 9, 2013.However, the orchestra were not present at the Day of the Foundation of the Republic celebrations on September 9, being replaced by the Korean People's Internal Security Forces Song and Dance Ensemble, leading to further speculation and concern about the fate of Unhasu Orchestra members.
Nam Jae-joon, the chief of the South Korean National Intelligence Service (NIS), said, on 8 October 2013, he was aware that "about 10 members of the Unhasu Orchestra were executed for involvement in the scandal."
A performance by the orchestra was broadcast by North Korean radio in October 2013.
Rumors of executions resurfaced in 2015 when South Korean lawmaker Shin Kyung-min revealed NIS' findings on recent executions.According to NIS, four top members of the orchestra were executed in March 2015 for spying for South Korea. Among them was the unnamed director general of the orchestra who was identified as a "Russian-trained composer and producer in his late 60s who came from Japan's pro-North Korean community". According to one of NIS' sources, the four were stripped naked before they were executed with machine gun fire. The execution took place in Pyongyang and four to five hundred members of Pyongyang's artistic community were forced to witness it. The execution was described as unusual with respect to both its cruelty and the fact that the families of those who were executed were reportedly spared from repercussions.
The music of North Korea includes a wide array of folk, pop, light instrumental, political, and classical performers. Beyond patriotic and political music, popular groups like Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble and Moranbong Band perform songs about everyday life in the DPRK and modern light pop reinterpretations of classic Korean folk music. Music education is widely taught in schools, with President Kim Il-Sung first implementing a program of study of musical instruments in 1949 at an orphanage in Mangyongdae. Musical diplomacy also continues to be relevant to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, with musical and cultural delegations completing concerts in China and France in recent years, and musicians from Western countries and South Korea collaborating on projects in the DPRK.
The Wangjaesan Light Music Band is a light music (gyeongeumak) group in North Korea. It is one of two popular music groups that were established by North Korea in the 1980s, both named after places where Kim Il-sung fought the Japanese in 1930s. It takes its name from Mount Wangjae in Onsong-gun, North Hamgyong Province, on the border with China, where Kim Il-sung is said to have held a meeting for anti-Japanese activities in 1933.
Kim Jong-un is a North Korean politician who has been Supreme Leader of North Korea since 2011 and the leader of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) since 2012. He is the second child of Kim Jong-il, who was North Korea's second supreme leader from 1994 to 2011, and Ko Yong-hui. He is the grandson of Kim Il-sung, who was the founder and first supreme leader of North Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994.
Kim Ok is a former North Korean government employee who served as Kim Jong-il's personal secretary from the 1980s until his death. After the death of Ko Yong-hui in August 2004, she regularly met with foreign officials as de facto first lady, and was rumored to be the supreme leader's fourth wife.
Jang Song-thaek was a leading figure in the government of North Korea. He was married to Kim Kyong-hui, the only daughter of North Korean Premier Kim Il-sung and his first wife Kim Jong-suk, and only sister of North Korean general secretary Kim Jong-il. He was therefore the uncle of current leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un.
Capital punishment in North Korea is used for many offences such as grand theft, murder, rape, drug smuggling, treason, espionage, political dissidence, defection, piracy, consumption of media not approved by the government and proselytizing religious beliefs that contradict practiced Juche ideology. Current working knowledge of the topic depends heavily on verified accounts of defectors. Executions are mostly carried out by firing squad, hanging or decapitation in public, which, if true, makes North Korea one of the last four countries to still perform public executions, the other three being Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia.
Pak Nam-gi or Park Nam-ki was, until as late as January 2010, Director of the Planning and Finance Department of the ruling party of North Korea. There are doubts about his date of birth, with at least two unattributed sources reporting it as 21 February 1934 or sometime in 1928 respectively.
Kim Kyong-hui is the aunt of current North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. She is the daughter of the founding North Korean leader Kim Il-sung and the sister of the late leader Kim Jong-il. She currently serves as Secretary for Organization of the Workers' Party of Korea. An important member of Kim Jong-il's inner circle of trusted friends and advisors, she was director of the WPK Light Industry Department from 1988 to 2012. She was married to Jang Sung-thaek, who was executed in December 2013 in Pyongyang, after being charged with treason and corruption.
Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho was a North Korean military officer who was Chief of the General Staff of the Korean People's Army from 2009 to 2012, as well as a member of the Presidium of the Workers' Party of Korea from September 2010 to July 2012.
Hyon Song-wol is a North Korean singer, band leader, and politician. She is the leader of the Moranbong Band and of the Samjiyon Orchestra. She was formerly a featured vocalist for the Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble in the early 2000s, a pop group which found fame in North Korea in the late 1980s and 1990s. Her best known songs include "A Girl on a Steed," "Footsteps of Soldiers", "I Love Pyongyang", "She is a Discharged Soldier" and "We are Troops of the Party". She has been a member in the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea since 2017.
Hyon Yong-chol (Hangul:현영철) was a former North Korean general and Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) politician. He served as Minister of Defence from 2014 to 2015. In 2015, he was removed from his post and reportedly executed.
The Moranbong Band, also known as the Moran Hill Orchestra, is an all-female music group in North Korea whose original members were selected by the country's supreme leader Kim Jong-un. Performing interpretive styles of pop, rock, and fusion, they are the first all-female band from the DPRK, and made their world debut on July 6, 2012. Their varied musical style has been described as symphonic because it is "putting together different kinds of sounds, and ending in a harmonious, pleasing result."
The Embassy of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in London is the diplomatic mission of North Korea to the United Kingdom. It is located in a detached house at 73 Gunnersbury Avenue on the northern corner junction with Baronsmede, in Ealing, a suburban district of west London. It is notable for being one of the few embassies in London located in a suburban area, away from the central diplomatic areas of the city. The seven-bedroom property was purchased by the North Korean government for £1.3 million in 2003.
Mun Kyong-jin is a possibly deceased North Korean violinist who was formerly the head of the Unhasu Orchestra. He was reported to have been executed in August 2013 along with the singer Hyon Song-wol and others. However, it subsequently emerged that Hyon Song-wol had not been executed because she appeared on state television a year later.
Kim Yo-jong is a North Korean politician serving as the Deputy Department Director of the Publicity and Information Department of the Workers' Party of Korea, or WPK. She also served as an alternate member of the Politburo of the Workers' Party of Korea from 2017 to 2019, and again from 2020 to 2021.
Media coverage of North Korea is hampered by an extreme lack of reliable information. There are a number of reasons for this lack of information. Access to North Korea by the outside news media is severely restricted by the North Korean government. There are very few full-time correspondents in the country. In the absence of on-the-spot reportage, a key source of information about North Korea is the testimony of defectors, but the defectors are not necessarily reliable for several reasons. Overall, much information about North Korea is filtered through South Korea, and the longstanding conflict between the two states distorts the information that is received. Misunderstandings of Korean culture can also lead to inaccurate reporting. In the absence of solid evidence, some media outlets turn to sensationalism, basing stories on rumors or cliches. There has even been some media coverage based on hoaxes or satire.
Sim Chol-ho was a North Korean engineer and politician. He was a member of the Supreme People's Assembly and served as the Minister of Post and Telecommunications beginning in 2012. He has not been seen in public since October 2014, when he and six other officials disappeared in a purge connected to Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. He was reportedly executed, though his death is unconfirmed.
The State Merited Chorus and Symphony Orchestra of the Korean People's Army (Korean: 조선인민군공훈국가합창단) is the principal musical performing unit of the Korean People's Army, based in the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang. As the second oldest military chorus and instrumental ensemble, it serves as one of the outstanding premier musical ensembles within the whole KPA proper and has been hailed as a model institution. It has been in existence since February 1947.
Kim Hyok-chol is a North Korean diplomat. Kim is the first ambassador in Spain, however, he was expelled in 2017.
Las noticias de la orquesta son totalmente falsas. La orquesta Unhasu tocará en Pyongyang por el 9 de Septiembre, fundación de la República.