When we think of North Korea, we tend to think of the glowering face of Kim Jong Un, the country’s poverty and isolation, and, above all, its fearsome arsenal of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
Now add cheerleaders to the list.
One of the biggest stories of the ongoing Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang has been the presence of a huge delegation of North Korean athletes, hangers-on, and government officials — including Kim’s sister, Kim Jo Yong.
More specifically, the North Korean government dispatched cheerleaders, fans, reporters, a taekwondo demonstration team, and a 140-member orchestra. North Korean and South Korean athletes marched under one flag during the opening ceremony, and the two countries are fielding a joint women’s hockey team that includes 12 North Korean players.
But it’s the red parka-clad North Korean cheerleaders who are emerging as the social media stars of the early days of the Olympics because of their over-the-top — and carefully choreographed — songs and dances.
The photos below give you a taste.