North Korea’s ‘Army of Beauties’ | NYT

North Korea, like other nations, sent its best athletes to South Korea in the quest for Olympic gold. But it also dispatched a squad of 230 cheerleaders, sometimes referred to as Kim Jong-Un’s “army of beauties.”
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North korea’s. propaganda machine. is famously enormous and enduring. it’s primarily used. inside the country. to bolster the kim dynasty’s. cult of personality. but with north korea. taking the olympic stage,. it is finding a wider. audience internationally. north korea. is sending 22 athletes. to the games and a. 230-member cheering squad. the women, sometimes referred. to as kim jong-un’s. army of beauties, have arrived. in south korea in what many. are calling kim’s. olympic charm offensive. the cheerleaders are chosen. by strict criteria on height. and family background,. according to reports. from a defector. they often wear traditional. korean garb and use flags. and fans in routines. they have also sported more modern,. worldly looks, including. nike baseball caps and t-shirts. the olympics will be the. first global appearance. for the cheerleaders,. but it is their fourth time. traveling to the south. they made their. debut there in . at the asian games in busan. they appeared again at the summer universiade in daegu. their last trip to the south. was in 2005,. for the asian athletics championships. ri sol-ju was one of the. cheerleaders at the time —. before she got married. the cheerleaders’ participation. at the olympics. is a rare display. from a reclusive country. and will undoubtedly. be closely watched. .
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