Update: Pyongyang ‘Rock for Peace’ Cancelled

According to DPRK Studies, Jean Baptiste Kim, Administrator for Voice of Korea and organizer for “rock for peace” has resigned his DPRK related activities and written a resignation letter that pulls no punches.  He denounces the regime, but also endorses opening up trade as a means of bringing the most social change:

[L]arge scale of regular free trade at national level will make ordinary people awaken from internal darkness because they will taste the differences from outside world. The regime will be unable to control people when people are massively moving forward to make money for themselves. Do not threat them. It only makes them be cautious and this kind of tension only drive ordinary people fall into the famine and death. Let them trade freely and legally. I dare to say that they will never go back to the past when start to make money. The solution is not GUN but MONEY but do not give them money but allow them make money by themselves.

Full text of the resignation letter is posted on DPRK studies.

Additionally, the Voice of Korea web site is down.

Part 1 from the First Post:
Joe Mackertich

Billed as “Rock for Peace”, the event is an attempt to promote the values and stability of North Korea. “We are not a mad, isolated country. We are part of an ordinary world, just like yourselves,” organisers told The First Post.

The decision to invite bands to play “western, capitalist” music was designed to change people’s perception of the Hermit Kingdom.

What it will resemble musically is anyone’s guess as no bands have yet been confirmed and anyone who accepts the invitation will have to refrain from mentioning war, sex, violence, drugs, imperialism or “anti-socialism”. Despite these strictures, the organisers hope to attract rock musicians such as Eric Clapton, U2 and – most surprising, given their redneck credentials – Lynyrd Skynyrd.

If the Rock for Peace festival is a success, there is talk of making it a regular occurrence and even staging the next one in the DMZ (demilitarised zone) between North and South Korea, the most heavily guarded border on earth.

Part 2: Voice of Korea
Here is a blurb from their website (bold added by NKEW):

There are few restrictions and conditions on participation but any band will be considered even though you are from USA. The lyrics should not contain admirations on war, sex, violence, murder, drug, rape, non-governmental society, imperialism, colonialism, racism, anti-DPRK, and anti-socialism. The concert will be held from May 01 to May 04, 2007 under the management of Voice of Korea. We currently received requests of 54 bands from 20 countries and participations are increasing every week. ‘ROCK FOR PEACE’ will be the 2007 version of Woodstock rock festival in 1969 but in a different location and with a different goal, We welcome every musician as long as they are purely music based without political intentions. Every band is financially responsible for their own trips to/from and staying in DPRK but we will offer sightseeing in many different places including DMZ, mountains, rivers, monuments, etc,,. Your musical instruments and related equipments, except passengers, will be transported at free of charge. If any band need confirmation letter from us in order to get sponsors, please do not hesitate to ask.


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