Wangjaesan Light Music Band

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Wangjaesan Light Music Band
Origin Pyongyang, North Korea
Genres Light music
Years active


Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 왕재산 경음악단
Hancha 旺載山輕音樂團 / 王在山輕音樂團
Revised Romanization Wangjaesan Gyeongeumakdan
McCune–Reischauer Wangjaesan Kyŏngŭmaktan

The Wangjaesan Light Music Band (Chosŏn'gŭl왕재산 경음악단; MRWangjaesan Kyŏngŭmaktan) is a light music (gyeongeumak) group in North Korea. It is one of two (with Pochonbo Electronic Ensemble) popular music groups that were established by North Korea in the 1980s, both named after places where Kim Il-sung fought the Japanese in 1930s.[1] It takes its name from Mount Wangjae in Onsong-gun, North Hamgyong Province, on the border with China, where Kim Il-sung is said to have held a meeting for anti-Japanese activities in 1933.

The band was established by the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il on 22 July 1983. Its music was often broadcast over Korean Central Broadcasting Station channels such as Radio Pyongyang. The Wangjaesan Dance Troupe is part of the group.[2]

Alleged executions and disbandment[edit]

On 29 August 2013, The Chosun Ilbo reported that key members of the Wangjaesan Light Music Band were made to watch the execution by firing squad of other musicians and dancers from their band, as well as members of the Unhasu Orchestra and the singer Hyon Song-wol, on the orders of Kim Jong-un. The Wangjaesan Light Music Band was subsequently disbanded.[3] Some experts however were dubious of this claim, such as Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy. Demick told Business Insider " is hard to trust this stuff. A lot of deliberate misinformation out there." Chad O'Carroll of NK News, a North Korean analyst website, stated: "You've got to remember that a lot of the time the source is South Korean and it's in their interest to distort or perhaps weave the truth every now and then".[4] John Delury from the Yonsei University in Seoul told The Guardian: "This stuff gets planted regularly in media outlets and then quickly goes viral. There's a global appetite for any North Korea story and the more salacious the better. Some of it is probably true — but a great deal of it is probably not". Delury also added: "The normal standards of journalism are thrown out of the window because the attitude is: 'It's North Korea — no one knows what's going on in there'".[5] Hyon Song-wol was later shown to be alive.[6]

The South Korean reports came approximately a month after the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee had issued a message of anniversary congratulations to the troupe.[7]


In 2015, the band reunited for the "Songs Full of Memories" concert series (February-March) and the joint performance "Great Party, Rosy Korea" in October.[8]


  • Ryom Cheong : She has sung songs such as "Chung Il-bong's Thunder", "Reported Soul", "Live with the Future", "General's Frontline", "Pyongyang News" .
  • Kim Hwa-suk : Known as "the bosom of our country".
  • Hwang Suk-kyong : "Socialism is ours."
  • Oh Jong-yun : Known as "foliage is red", folk song "Moran Bong".

See also[edit]


  1. ^ John Morgan O'Connell; Salwa El-Shawan Castelo-Branco (23 September 2010). Music and Conflict. University of Illinois Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-252-07738-8. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Tommy Seilheimer (November 15, 2012). "Wangjaesan Art Troupe Gives Performance to Mark Mother′s Day". Korean Friendship Association. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  3. ^ "Kim Jong-un's Ex-Girlfriend 'Shot by Firing Squad'". The Chosun Ilbo. August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Why You Shouldn't Necessarily Trust Those Reports Of Kim Jong-un Executing His Ex-Girlfriend". Business Insider. August 29, 2013. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  5. ^ "North Korea criticises 'reptile media' for saying Kim Jong-un ordered executions". The Guardian. September 23, 2013. Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  6. ^ "North Korean singer rumoured to have been executed appears on TV". Agence France-Presse via The Guardian website. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2015. 
  7. ^ WPK Congratulates Wangjaesan Art Troupe (22 July 2013) KCNA
  8. ^

External links[edit]