Is North Korea's twenty-something leader Kim Jong Un going Hollywood? First he got a snazzy theme song, now Kim has allowed Disney characters in a public cultural presentation, reports the AP. Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Minnie, and other characters appeared on stage while footage from various Disney movies played in the background in a performance broadcast on state TV. The Friday performance by the band Moranbong, a group put together by Kim himself, did not mention the names of the characters, and mostly featured Korean traditional songs, such as "Aririang," as well as some upbeat foreign songs.
North Korea experts are divided about what it all means. State media has reported Kim has a "grandiose plan to bring about a dramatic turn in the field of literature and arts this year." Some observers think this is a sign that the young leader is looking to open his country to international influences. Other think he is trying to create an image of youth and vitality. Disney, however, doesn't sound thrilled about being a part of the celebrations. "This was not licensed or authorized by The Walt Disney Company," says a Disney spokesman.