Norwegian Artist Cuts Relations with North Korea

Norwegian artist Morten Traavik says that political climate makes it impossible to continue contact with North Korea.

Artist Morten Traavik has been internationaly known with his critized cultural cooperation with North Korea for a long time. Previously, he held Norwegian national day celebration in Pyongyang, converts with North Korean musicians, staged a political theater in Tronheim with Norwegian and North Korean teenagers. Also he allowed North Korean children to play Kardemomme City during the festivals in Bergen, and he organized the first rock concert in Pyongyang. He has been critized for his works in the dictatorship with Norwegian state funds.

After eight years of cooperation, Traavik decided to freeze his relations with the country. In his last he witnessed an earthquake after the explosion of the hydrogen bomb test and was threaten by his North Korean partner.

Norwegian artist concluded that conditions currently do not facilitate a meaningful cultural exchange.

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– When it’s ice-time, things are frozen. We have met suspicion from those we’ve collaborated with before, and I even received death threats from my best North Korean friend, Traavik told to NRK.

-I’m proud of what we’ve got, and I’m still available if things are going to normalize. Those who have criticized us since the beginning were proved wrong. Their kind of contact has not brought the parties one centimeter closer to each other, as far as I can see, says Traavik.

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