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 The North Korean Cheerleaders

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Jong-Il's Hair Apparent
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Jong-Il's Hair Apparent

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PostSubject: The North Korean Cheerleaders   Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:59 pm

I hadn't heard this before, the story of the North Korean cheerleaders.......

    Friday, February 17, 2006
    Remember the North Korean Cheerleaders?

    I remember when I was living in Seoul the Asian Games were held in Busan, and then the Universidad games in Taegu. I remember that for both these games, the biggest hits were the North Korean cheerleaders. They were extremely good looking girls that came cheering for their team, with DPRK and Korean unification flags. In fact, much more airtime and newstime was spent on them than the rest of the games. And not without reason: they were sweet cheery nice girls from North Korea. When they weren't performing their cheers ("Skill! Technique! Focus!") they were staying at a hotel off-limits to anyone else (many young guys would drive up there to meet them and get turned away).

    And then there was the incident with the Kim Jong-il poster, which was a bit strange, but interesting. They were in the bus going back to their dormitories after a game and noticed a banner of Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung that was in the rain, and close to the ground. They started shouting for the bus driver to stop, and in fact one girl slammed on the breaks herself. Then they rushed over to the poster and took it back with them, so that the picture of their Dear Leader wouldn't get ruined.

    I also remember how South Korean girls would throw written notes at them from their stands during the games. The notes were always innocent, as in "I hope we all get to be together soon", and they would all scream and cheer together with the south koreans after each of the notes.

    Either way, for those who lived in Korea during this time, these cheerleaders were a big event. Guys would oogle over them, and girls would cheer them on. They always had smiles on their faces and watching them made reunification seem so much closer at hand. For once it was nice to see South Koreans genuinely happy, and North Koreans looking excited to be there, both groups sitting right next to each other on the stands, without politics getting in the way.

    I bring this up because apparently they're in a gulag now.
    Fear of Kim's Wetness Stirs Up Cheerleaders

    Another peculiar scene with the North Korean cheerleaders unfolded Thursday as they noticed, while riding back from an archery competition, welcome banners with the image of their leader Kim Jong Il in conditions they didn't like.
    The women, after demanding that their buses stop, protested in anger and shed tears before taking four banners down and carrying them away.

    The group of 150 cheerleaders, here as part of the North Korean delegation to the Universiade games in Daegu, first saw the banners at about 1:40 p.m., as the women were returning from an archery competition.

    One banner had a picture of Kim Jong Il shaking hands with former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung at one end and a picture of the reunification flag at the other. In between was a message welcoming the North Korean athletes.

    The women, who were in six separate buses, demanded that the vehicles stop. According to one bus driver, some even stepped on his right foot while trying to apply the brake themselves.

    Then about 30-40 of them ran the 300-500 meters back to where the banners were. Protesting, they pointed out apparent horrors such as that a seal was stamped on Kim Jong Il's image, that the banners were hanging too low, that they were beside a scarecrow and that they had been left to the mercy of the rain and wind.

    Several of the women, helping each other, managed to climb up a two-meter tree and pull down the four banners. They rolled them up, making sure to keep the images still visible, and carried them reverently back to the bus, while weeping out loud. About 10 of them also wrested a camera away from a South Korean reporter who was on the scene.

    A South Korean police officer who saw the tail end of the spectacle said, "The North Korean supporters were wailing loudly as they got on the bus, like women who had just lost their husbands. People who were at the scene were saying that it was beyond their comprehension, and some even said it gave them the chills."
    Tuesday, September 9, 2003
    Shock over Korean beauties' rage

    But one incident, captured by South Korean media, has shocked many South Koreans.

    It involved a busload of the North Korean cheerleaders who became extremely upset over, what some onlookers said, a very trivial matter.

    The cause of the emotional distress was a banner with the picture of what North Koreans they call their "dear leader", North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, which was hung crooked and left out in the rain.

    For those North Koreans, it was considered sacrilege.

    "How could you place our general in such a place?" a cheerleader said. "He deserves only respect. We cannot stand for this."

    Choi Dong-ho, a sports reporter for South Korea's YTN TV was with the cheerleaders at the time, but he said it took him a long time to understand what got them so charged.

    The sense of disbelief was not limited to those who witnessed the incident.

    The same feeling was expressed by many South Koreans on Seoul's affluent Rodeo Drive where the divide between the capitalist South and the communist North may be at its widest.

    "I felt I didn't understand these people," said a woman who was outside a McDonalds restaurant there.

    North Korean cheerleaders literally shed tears after seeing the banner.

    A high school student told CNN that she was afraid of the scene she saw on TV and does not want to be unified with the North.
    SEOUL, South Korea, Feb. 17, 2006
    North Korean Cheerleaders Sent to Prison

    (AP) Twenty-one members of North Korean cheering squads who traveled to South Korea for international sports events are being held in a prison camp for talking about what they saw in the South, a news report said Friday.

    Citing a North Korean man who recently fled to China, South Korea's Chosun Ilbo newspaper said the 21 young women had been detained about last November in the same prison camp where the man had been held.

    South Korea's National Intelligence Service didn't immediately confirm or deny the report.

    In 2002, communist North Korea sent hundreds of female cheerleaders to the Asian Games in South Korea's Busan, where their tightly synchronized routines drew worldwide attention. The North sent similar cheering squads to South Korea in 2003 and 2005.

    The defector, whose real name wasn't given, said the female cheering squad apparently violated a pledge not to speak about what they saw in South Korea, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

    Citing another unnamed defector, the newspaper said the cheerleaders had pledged before going to South Korea that they would treat the country as "enemy territory" and never speak about what they saw there, accepting punishment if they broke the promise.
    Lee Myeong-ho, a former inmate of the Daeheung concentration camp in South Hamgyeong Province who recently escaped to China, said “21 beautiful women” were detained at the camp since the end of last year. “Later I found out that they were the cheerleading team that had gone to South Korea,” he said.

    Lee said since inmates are forbidden to talk to one another, he could not find out for sure what mistake they had made, but the rumor was that they had broken their promise to North Korean security services not to disclose what they had seen in South Korea.

    Another defector explained the cheerleaders are picked among university students, propaganda squad members and music school students from good families. Before they were sent to South Korea, they had to sign a pledge bearing their 10 fingerprints that says if they are going to an enemy country -- Pyongyang’s epithet for the South -- they must fight as soldiers of leader Kim Jong-il and never talk about what they have seen or heard in South Korea once they return. They agree to accept punishment if they break the promise.

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PostSubject: Re: The North Korean Cheerleaders   Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:33 pm

    "The North Korean supporters were wailing loudly as they got on the bus, like women who had just lost their husbands. People who were at the scene were saying that it was beyond their comprehension, and some even said it gave them the chills."
So much for loyalty - they cry and "rescue" a picture of their Dear Leader, yet they are punished for merely talking about South Korea.

They must all be psychological basket cases.
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PostSubject: Re: The North Korean Cheerleaders   Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:23 am

The whole population could be a case study for Stockholm syndrome. Volumes will be written about them in the future.
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Jong-Il's Hair Apparent
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PostSubject: Re: The North Korean Cheerleaders   Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:52 pm

I wonder if that means they don't have a cheerleading program any more? This needs investigation.....
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PostSubject: Re: The North Korean Cheerleaders   Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:04 pm

What else did they think would happen when they send their cheerleaders a from poor closed isolated country to one that's dynamic colorful and wealthy? They would be like kids in a candy store.
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