Disney Characters Take the Stage in North Korea
A concert held in North Korea for that country's new leader, Kim Jong Un, featured a few well-loved Western characters. Mickey, Minnie, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger took to the stage during a recent concert in Pyongyang while clips from Disney films played in the background.
Though the Disney characters are not new to North Korea (they've long been favorites of children there and have been featured on merchandise like backpacks and pajamas), this appearance looks to be the first time Mickey and company have been included in a stage show there. The inclusion of the Disney characters in a show is also a departure from the usual stage fare - especially for a show that is made public on state television.
Kim, who took over leadership of North Korea in December upon his father's death, is said to have a "grandiose plan to bring about a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year" according to the Korean Central News Agency. Some speculate featuring characters from the West - and more specifically, the United States - may be an attempt by the young leader to project a different image than the previous rulers and one that is more lenient toward Western culture.
To this date, North Korea and the United States remain in a "technical state of war" due to the signing of a truce rather than a peace treaty in 1953 after three years of fighting.