A Close-Up Magician Is Easing the Tension Between North and South Korea

North and South Korea figured out that a magician can ease the tension in any room—even when the subject is denuclearization.

According to the Washington Post article, “Did you hear the one about the North Korean leader, the $100 bill and the trump card?” a Korean magician engaged the group of world leaders with close-up magic, weaving in humor to break the ice and get the group relaxed and laughing together.


As a magician, I have to tell you that I couldn’t be happier to have this amazing secret of magic revealed to the world. Now everyone can see that by creating a shared moment of laughter and wonder, magic brings people together, no matter their race, age, or political, economic or philosophical perceptions and beliefs. 

The whole world can now see this secret in action. Fostering connections is the real power of great magic. 

This is why magicians are hired at unexpected events. They appear at cocktail receptions to break the ice between employees and partners meeting each other for the first time. They appear at weddings, to ease the tension between two families attempting to become one. 

It’s why I’ve appeared as a magician at business meetings — to the surprise of most people who meet me at one—and this is why my team of magicians and I are hired by businesses that know its real value. 

Sometimes we’re there to reinforce the positive culture that exists by having a fun celebration. Other times, we are there to ease the tension between departments who are working hard to have better communication. When I present my signature keynote speech—Think Like A Magician™— magic becomes a way of bringing certain ideas to the surface from a non-threatening, third party point of view. 

I learned a long time ago that the real value of magic is not in finding your card or transforming a $1 bill into a $100. That’s pretty awesome when you see it in person. 

But if you’re around other people who get to see it too, and if you participate in the trick personally—that becomes a shared moment of laughter that you will remember and tell others about for long time to come. And if there’s a photo to capture that moment of astonishment—even better! 

As a magician, I get to connect to people in a positive, engaging way, and I help them foster positive interactions with other people, colleagues, clients or competitors. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last twenty years of my life and what I continue to do year after year for my clients. Sometimes I’m there to help IT communicate with sales. Other times I’m there to bridge the perceived frustrations between marketing and operations. As a magician, I get to positively engage with any and every employee of the company from the receptionist to the CEO. 

And it’s why this Korean magician was invited to perform interactive close-up magic with cards and money for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. 

Magic is non-threatening. It is a play. It is an opportunity to be whimsical and wishful. It returns you to a state of child-like wonder. It allows adults—especially those in suits and ties who spend their lives taking things very seriously—to be playful and imaginative.

Magic is a beautiful art form. Like other great arts, it has no inherent value except in its execution. And this performance on the border village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018 is a prime example of how the experience of close-up magic, through its performance, can create the greatest value of all: connection. 

Magic exists in many forms. Today is a celebration for me because the world gets to see one of most beautiful uses of magic—its ability to bring people together. 

It is incredible—and hopeful—to think that this magical moment will be remembered as a genuine step on the road to peace between two world nations.