Koreas' art troupes to sing 'Arirang' in unison in Sakhalin
SEOUL, Aug. 14 (Yonhap) -- Art troupes of South and North Korea will perform together in Sakhalin to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the forced relocation of Koreans to the far-eastern Russian island by the Japanese colonizers and the historic inter-Korean summit in April, organizers said Tuesday.
The National Gugak Center said it will perform together with a unified North Korean art troupe as part of an event set to be held Saturday in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the capital of the Sakhalin state, to mark the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
The North Korean group includes members from the Samjiyon and Moranbong bands.
The Moranbong Band is known to be the favorite all-female music group of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, while the Samjiyon Band became widely known to South Koreans when it performed in the South as part of the Samjiyon Orchestra during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in February.
The South and North Korean artists will sing the common Korean folk song of "Arirang" in unison on the stage, wishing for inter-Korean reconciliation and peace.
"For the sake of the 80th anniversary of the forced relocation of Koreans to Sakhalin, artists from South and North Korea and Russia combined forces to present the first joint performance to carry out the Panmunjom Declaration. So, the event has a great significance in that sense," the National Gugak Center said.
About 150,000 Koreans were forced to work for the Japanese army in the 1940s in Sakhalin when Korea was under Japanese colonial rule. Korea was liberated from Japan when World War II ended in 1945, but some 43,000 of them became stranded on the island without securing permission to depart either to Japan or their hometowns in South Korea. Most of them died in Russia without a chance to return home.