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Philharmonic in North Korea

The New York Philharmonic played an unprecedented concert in North Korea on Tuesday, the New York Times reported.

It was the first time that a major American cultural organization appeared in Pyongyang, the communist nation's capital.

The concert is seen as an opening for warmer relations between the United States and North Korea. The two have been at political odds in recent years over North Korea's nuclear program.

Lorin Maazel, the Philharmonic's music director, said as many as 200 million people may have watched the broadcast.

Though Kim Jong-il, North Korea's leader, was not at the performance, many political figures, including the vice-president and the cultural minister, were in attendance.

The orchestra played works by Wagner, Dvorak, Bernstein and Gershwin, as well as a traditional Korean piece and the two nations' national anthems.