A North Korean pop group cancelled its Beijing concerts last week when Chinese authorities objected to “anti-American” lyrics in the show, said a source with ties to both countries.

The Moranbong band was visiting China with the State Merited Chorus and had been due to perform in Beijing on 12 December, but cancelled three hours before the show was to start.

The source said that Chinese censors had not approved of references to the United States an “ambitious wolf”, and lyrics which glorified the 1950-53 Korean War.

“China did not ask that the lyrics be changed but it did not pass screening by censors,” said the source, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the subject. “China was of the view that the lyrics would unnecessarily provoke the US.”

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