Monday, 12 February 2018

North Korea sends a squad of 230 cheerleaders, 'Kim Jong-un’s army of beauties' to Winter Olympics

North Korea, like other nations, sent its best athletes for the Winter Olympics in South Korea in the quest for gold. But it also dispatched a squad of 230 cheerleaders, sometimes referred to as Kim Jong-un’s army of beauties.

The young women arrived for the Pyeongchang Games in matching red wool coats, buttoned at the waist, with black fur trim at the neck and wrists and matching black caps, high-heeled ankle boots and sheer hosiery. They toted matching red wheelies and handbags, and all grinned matching grins.

For a country whose image is defined largely by the figure of its leader, Kim Jong-un, with his severe military dress and strange trapezoidal hairstyle, the cheer squad provides a visual message of a different kind.

The cheer squad first appeared in 2002 during the Asian Games in Busan, and have also been at the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu and the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon, but the Olympics will be their global coming-out moment.

Ri Sol-ju, the wife of Kim Jong-un, was originally in the cheer squad. They have worn everything from traditional Korean garb to Nike baseball caps and T-shirts, and often use flags and fans in the routines they do from the stands.

Source: New York Times

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