Cheers! North Koreans go south

Central Station | 8 Feb 2018

More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching scarlet coats and beaming smiles arrived in South Korea yesterday ahead of the Pyeongchang Olympics.

They will be followed by the sister of their leader Kim Jong Un, Kim Yo Jong, this week. Kim Yo Jong, believed to be aged about 30, will meet President Moon Jae In and give him a letter from her brother.

The 229 young women were among a 280-member delegation who crossed the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas at the Dorasan border post north of Seoul.

The cheerleaders were immediately ushered onto a convoy of buses and taken to their hotel in Inje county, 120 kilometers from the Games venue in Pyeongchang.

The cheerleaders are reportedly the product of a careful selection process, screening for their family backgrounds, looks, skills and loyalty to the ruling Workers' Party.

The North has sent cheer squads to three international sports events hosted by the South - the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu and the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon.

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