Violin Diplomacy in North Korea

You remember the “ping-pong diplomacy” of the Nixon years? Well, get ready for a little bit of “violin diplomacy”, with news that the New York Philharmonic Orchestra has landed in Pyongyang, the capital of the most politically isolated state on earth, North Korea. The Boston Globe reports and uses the occasion to look back at other episodes of cultural diplomacy:

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Members of the New York Philharmonic orchestra wave as they arrive at the airport in Pyongyang for a two day visit to North Korea on Monday, Feb. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)
Some other noteworthy episodes of cultural diplomacy, according to the Boston Globe:
CHINAApril 1971 — The U.S. Table Tennis Team accepts a surprise invitation from China, making the group the first American non-communist delegation allowed into China since the communist takeover in 1949. This “pingpong diplomacy” helps lay the path for President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China the following year.1979 — Acclaimed violinist Isaac Stern embarks on a cultural tour of China in which he performs and mentors young Chinese musicians, encounters that are chronicled in an Oscar-winning documentary, “Mozart to Mao.”IRAN Continue reading “Violin Diplomacy in North Korea”