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N. Korean Girl Band Cancels China Tour

Members of North Korea's Moranbong band sing and dance during a joint performance with the State Merited Chorus in Pyongyang, North Korea. North Korea's Moranbong band, an all-female band formed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has canceled its concerts in Beijing and abruptly left the Chinese capital for unknown reasons.

North Korea’s all-girl pop band Moranbong abruptly cancelled its “friendship” tour of China before playing even one gig.

The band was in China to play three dates--their first foreign dates ever--but flew back to Pyongyang hours before it was set to take the stage for its first gig.

Said to have been hand picked by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the band is reported to be popular in its home country and is known to wear relatively risque outfits along with trendy hair styles. The band plays a mix of Western and traditional Korean songs.

Neither China nor North Korea has commented as to why the tour was cancelled, but on Friday the band held a practice at Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts.

The next day, the band showed up at Beijing’s airport and flew back to North Korea.

Relations between North Korea and China have been historically close, but of late, they have been rocky with Beijing having condemned Pyongyang’s nuclear bomb tests in 2013.

China’s state run news agency, Xinhua, reported a "communication problem" as the reason the tour was cancelled.