Life's a beach as North Korea cheerleaders mobbed by media

North's 229-strong cheering squad, dubbed the "army of beauties", have drawn much attention through this event

Afp February 13, 2018
North Korean cheerleaders are surrounded by media as they attempt to walk on Gyeongpo beach in Gangneung on February 13, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

GANGNEUNG: North Korea's Olympic cheerleaders were forced to abandon a visit to the beach when they were mobbed hundreds of excitable media on Tuesday.

The cheerleaders, dressed in red uniforms with red and white woolly hats, managed a quick walk before hopping back on their bus after they were met by a huge scrum of journalists.

North Korea to send 22 athletes to Pyeongchang, compete in three sports

The North's 229-strong cheering squad, dubbed the "army of beauties", have drawn much attention since arriving for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last week.


"We haven't been able to see the beach," complained one of the cheerleaders as they returned to the bus.

The cheerleaders drew another crowd when they held an impromptu performance at Ojukheon House, one of the oldest traditional Korean houses in the South, for South Korean and foreign tourists.

Anyone 'disrespecting' Iranian athletes must apologise, Iran tells Olympic Committee

The cheer squad, all in their late teens or early 20s, are said to be handpicked from elite universities and undergo strict background checks.

Their most famous alumna is Ri Sol Ju, better known these days as the First Lady of North Korea.


"When I saw them on television, I had a bad image of them but they are so pretty," said Hwang Ji-woo, a 12-year-old student from Anyang.

"It feels like North and South have reunified," Hwang added.

But others were more wary about the presence of the North Korean delegation, which numbers more than 500 -- in support of just 22 athletes.


Cho Hye-joon, a 23-year-old student from Seoul who was

interviewed by a North Korean TV reporter, said: "She asked me about what I thought about the current rapprochement between the North and South.

"I had no comment, because if I say something wrong, that would be bad."


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ