In the wake of rumors that Kim Jong Un was sleeping with the leader of his handpicked girl pop group, North Korea suddenly cancelled three invitation-only “friendship” concerts — meant to revive relations with China — just hours before the first concert was due to begin. China is North Korea’s only ally in the region, but relations between the two countries have been strained ever since Kim executed his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who had handled the dictatorship’s dealings with Beijing. Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts, where the 21-member Moranbong Band had been scheduled to perform Saturday for Chinese officials, dignitaries, and business leaders, reported the show was cancelled “due to certain reasons,” and China’s official Xinhua News Agency reported the cancellation was due to “communication issues.” Speculation is rife however that Kim Jong Un ordered the band back home in order to quiet rumors of his past sexual relationship with Hyon Song Wol, the leader of the pop group, and a sudden break off of talks with South Korea is also believed to be a result of South Korean media buzzing about Hyon’s relationship with Kim. Whatever the truth may be, the thawing of relations between North Korea and China will have to wait for another time.
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