PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - Five teenagers in school uniforms hold accordions. On the wall is a giant painting of the secret mountain hideout of their nation's founder, Kim Il Sung. Small red stickers on their instruments mark them as gifts from Kim Jong Il.
Yes, this is North Korea. But as they grind their accordions into song, what comes out is no somber ode to either of the late leaders. Instead, as more than 1.5 million YouTube viewers already know, it's one of the poppiest of 1980s-era pop songs, A-ha's "Take on Me."
Band members gave The Associated Press an exclusive peek into their lives at the Kumsong school in Pyongyang. They say they're proud of the rousing reception they received when they performed last month at an arts festival in Norway, their first trip abroad.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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