Ailee & Zico Set to Perform in North Korea Amid Inter-Korean Summit

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Ailee attends 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards at Asia World-Expo on Dec. 1, 2017 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

Ailee and Zico will perform in North Korea this week as part of the sizable South Korean contingent involved in this week’s inter-Korean summit in Pyeongyang.

Zico, a hip-hop artist, and Ailee, a Korean-American R&B and pop diva, will perform as part of the summit’s festivities. The pair are part of the group of business people, government officials celebrities, and politicians accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the North this week.

Both Ailee and Zico, who is also a member of boy band Block B, are prominent soloists in South Korea. 

Songwriter Kim Hyun-Suk, who is also traveling to Pyongyang and will also perform, reportedly said that Zico can "help introduce hip-hop" to North Korea, while Ailee's "powerful and sophisticated R&B vocal skills" will appear in the country, where "melody-centric ballads dominate."

Balladeer Ali, who also performed in Pyeongyang earlier this year, and magician Cho Hyun-woo, plus representatives of major South Korean companies such as Samsung, Hyundai, and LG, are also part of the South Korean delegation.

In a video from the Korea Herald, Zico was close-lipped regarding what he would perform, while Ailee said that she would sing "Arirang," a Korean folk song that is an unofficial anthem of Korean.

Earlier this year, Moon met twice with North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the border region between the two countries in Panmunjom, located in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The last time South and North Korean leaders met was in 2007, which in turn was preceded by the first inter-Korean summit in 2000. In April, several other popular artists, including girl group Red Velvet and Seohyun of Girls’ Generation, performed in Pyeongyang.

The visit began on Tuesday (Sept. 18) and will conclude on Thursday (Sept. 20).