Notes Of Hope

Music opens doors that had been closed to our correspondent for two decades. A surreal day and a magical evening in Pyongyang

David Guttenfelder / AP

North Koreans leaf through the program of the New York Philharmonic

Foreign correspondents can be a pretty jaded lot, full of a world-weariness that's partly feigned but partly real. But nobody was feeling--or even pretending to be--blasé aboard the chartered Asiana Airlines 747 from Beijing as it bore down on Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, on Feb. 25 carrying the New York Philharmonic orchestra and 80 mostly U.S. journalists. For many of us, North Korea has long been as remote as the dark side of the moon, so we were more than eager to get a look at it. Television cameramen jostled for position in window seats to capture images of...

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