Kim Jong-un watches K-pop stars perform in North Korea

President Donald Trump with first lady Melania Trump speaks from the Truman Balcony during the 139th Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington DC on Monday

Kim Jong-un watches K-pop stars perform in North Korea

Next on the agenda for Kim, Lee said, would be to hold more meetings with key world leaders - including Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin - in an effort to lend further credibility to his rule.

Kim along with his wife on Sunday was present at a concert by a 160-member South Korean art troupe at East Pyongyang Grand Theatre, as reported by the Yonhap News Agency quotes the South Korean cultural ministry.

In South Korea, however, the news about Kim's visit was received with nothing more than a shrug.

Kim along with his wife and powerful sister went on to meet the Chinese President, Xi Jinping. But in Beijing he was received with pageantry and pomp associated with state visits. It is ready to join the worldwide community once again.

Of course, if Mr. Trump and Mr. Bolton find a way forward with Mr. Kim to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and set the stage for eventual Korean reunification, then Mr. Trump will have succeeded richly where presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama failed dismally. The Trump administration was hardly blameless, ratcheting up its rhetoric and giving rise to concerns that war was imminent.

But tension has eased significantly since North Korea chose to send athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. Mr. Trump pulling this off without Beijing's help would debase China's worldwide prestige, while the US reconsolidates its position in East Asia with no doubts about its future role there.

"He exchanged warm greetings with them and warmly welcomed their Pyongyang visit", North Korea's official news agency KCNA wrote in a summary of the event.

Experts cautioned that the term "denuclearization on the peninsula", suggests that North Korea could seek specific security assurances from the United States and other nations with nuclear arsenals that could theoretically reach North Korea. Its belligerence was in itself a sign that a change in the regime's tone was due. That open-arms policy meant Pyongyang could initiate dialogue at any time once it chose to do so. "This time the concert was under the theme "Spring has come, ' let it be 'Autumn has come" in the next autumn".

The inter-Korean summit, the third such event after meetings in 2000 and 2007, will be held on April 27. "He even wrote an op-ed calling for preemptive nuclear strikes against North Korea". How North Koreans would react to Red Velvet was a focus of keen media attention in South Korea.

(L to R) Yeri, Irene, Wendy and Seulgi of South Korean girl group Red Velvet departure to North Korea at Gimpo airport. Can Pyongyang really be trusted after all these years?

While defectors and those who work with them are unclear of the actual legalities surrounding possession of South Korean cultural content, one defector told Asia Times she knew of a case when possession of such content led to death. "I thank you for this kind of gift to Pyongyang citizens".

In video footage of the show, Kim Jong Un stands up, claps and waves to a crowd of applauding concert-goers below him. Kim's dictator father and grandfather long aspired to have such power.

"There are stories in my hometown of a man who was interrogated for watching a South Korean drama, and was killed during interrogation - officers are very brutal", said Lee Hyeon-seo, a prominent defector who has met US President Donald Trump and is the author of the global bestseller "The Girl with Seven Names", her autobiography.

North Korea, which has in the past accused both the US and South Korea of rehearsing an invasion of the North during the exercises, remained silent on the issue on Sunday.

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