Fans the world over were disappointed by the cancellation of a performance by Kim Jong Un's Moranbong Band in Beijing last week. Reuters is now reporting that a source "with ties to North Korea and China" says that "Chinese authorities objected to 'anti-American' lyrics in the show." The report continues:
The Moranbong Band was visiting China along with North Korea's State Merited Chorus and was due to perform at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts on Dec. 12.
I won't get into the other theories going around as to why the show was cancelled - see this - but in light of the Reuters source's comments about the lyrics, which at first appearance sounds less likely than the other theories, I just want to remark that this is interesting in the face of two recent events: a July 2012 gala show in Pyongyang that featured appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Winnie the Pooh along with performances of "It's A Small World", the "Rocky" theme and Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
Second is this October performance by the Chongbong Band - another Kim Jong Un creation that came about this summer - playing the American classics "Oh! Susanna" and "Camptown Races." If these two performances are meant to be a signal from Kim III that a cultural loosening up is on the horizon, someone must have had a nice facepalm when the Chinese censor stopped the rehearsal and said the anti-American lyrics were a no go.