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Could North Korea's military-themed 'Spice Girls' make a show at the Winter Olympics?

North Korea's all-female Moranbong Band perform in Pyongyang on May 11, 2016 Credit:  AFP

North Korea’s decision this week to send an art troupe to accompany its athletes to South Korea’s Winter Olympics in February has sparked excited speculation on the Korean Peninsula about which high octane performance might take the stage.

Will it be Moranbong, dubbed the North’s answer to the Spice Girls, or will Pyongyang opt for the more sobering patriotic melodies of the State Merited Chorus?

The deal to send musicians and cheerleaders, struck on Tuesday at the first high level inter-Korean talks in two years, reflects not only their popularity among sports fans but their importance to Pyongyang as a traditional propaganda tool.

Analysts have suggested that North Korea will use its performing artists to project a more positive image of the country in an attempt to cut through its global reputation as a warmonger.

“The North is using an art troupe as a card to win the hearts of South Koreans....

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