NEW YORK - The New York Philharmonic will perform an American-inspired musical program in communist North Korea, including "The Star-Spangled Banner" and Gershwin's "An American in Paris," the orchestra announced yesterday.

Details of the historic Feb. 26 visit to Pyongyang were discussed at a news conference at Lincoln Center, attended by North Korea's U.N. ambassador, Pak Gil Yon.

"This visit will surely deepen the understanding and cultural relations of the two countries," Pak said. He said he could not discuss the political implications of the visit, or whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Il would attend the concert or have any contact with the Americans.

Zarin Mehta, the orchestra's president and executive director, said the Philharmonic would play the national anthems of both countries in a musical program inspired by America, including Dvorak's

New World Symphony

, which the 19th-century composer wrote while living in the United States.

During the 48-hour visit, Mehta said, orchestra members will conduct master classes with North Korean musicians and perform an open rehearsal before an evening concert.