More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching outfits arrived in South Korea on Wednesday ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games

North Korean cheerleaders arrive for Winter Olympics

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More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching scarlet coats and pelt hats have arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics.

The 229 young women who arrived on Wednesday were among a 280-member delegation who crossed the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas at the Dorasan border post north of Seoul.

Each donning the same coat and dark hat worn by the North’s art troupe, who arrived the previous day, the cheerleaders were jovial as they piled through the South’s immigration control.

More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching outfits arrived in South Korea on Wednesday ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games

More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching outfits arrived in South Korea on Wednesday ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games

More than 200 North Korean cheerleaders sporting matching outfits arrived in South Korea on Wednesday ahead of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic games

The North Korean cheerleaders were spotted arriving at a rest stop as their bus convoy made its way to the Olympic venue

The North Korean cheerleaders were spotted arriving at a rest stop as their bus convoy made its way to the Olympic venue

The North Korean cheerleaders were spotted arriving at a rest stop as their bus convoy made its way to the Olympic venue

They exchanged comments with a horde of South Korean journalists. 

‘I am happy to see you,’ one stated.as she beamed broadly.

Asked about their cheering routines, she joked: ‘You just wait. If I tell you now, it would be less exciting when you see it.’ 

It was in stark contrast to the arrival of the athletes who ignored reporters’ questions and headed directly to buses parked outside the terminal.

The cheerleaders are the product of a careful selection process, screening for their family backgrounds, looks, skills and loyalty to the ruling Workers’ Party.

The North has sent such cheerleaders to three international sports events hosted by the South – the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu and the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon. 

One of those in the 2005 group, Ri Sol-Ju, went on to become the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. 

The women were all dressed in matching scarlet coats and pelt hats as they walked in single file to their buses

The women were all dressed in matching scarlet coats and pelt hats as they walked in single file to their buses

The women were all dressed in matching scarlet coats and pelt hats as they walked in single file to their buses

The cheerleaders were jovial as they piled through the South's immigration control on Wednesday

The cheerleaders were jovial as they piled through the South's immigration control on Wednesday

The cheerleaders were jovial as they piled through the South’s immigration control on Wednesday

The women are the product of a careful selection process, screening for their family backgrounds, looks, skills and loyalty to the ruling Workers' Party

The women are the product of a careful selection process, screening for their family backgrounds, looks, skills and loyalty to the ruling Workers' Party

The women are the product of a careful selection process, screening for their family backgrounds, looks, skills and loyalty to the ruling Workers’ Party

The cheerleaders are part of a 280-member delegation who crossed the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas at the Dorasan border post north of Seoul

The cheerleaders are part of a 280-member delegation who crossed the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas at the Dorasan border post north of Seoul

The cheerleaders are part of a 280-member delegation who crossed the Demilitarized Zone that divides the two Koreas at the Dorasan border post north of Seoul

Some of the exchanged comments with a horde of South Korean journalists and smiled as their photos were taken

Some of the exchanged comments with a horde of South Korean journalists and smiled as their photos were taken

Some of the exchanged comments with a horde of South Korean journalists and smiled as their photos were taken

With only 10 North Korean athletes competing for their country at the Games, and another 12 on the roster of a unified Korean women’s ice hockey team, the cheerleaders will support South Korean athletes when none of their own are in action.

They boarded a convoy of South Korean buses to take them to Gangneung, where the ice hockey events will be held, and around 20 well-wishers waved blue and white unification flags to welcome them as they drove into South Korea. 

The delegation, led by Pyongyang’s sports minister Kim Il-Guk, also includes three other officials from the National Olympic Committee, 26 taekwondo demonstrators and 21 journalists. 

The Olympics have triggered a rapid rapprochement on the divided Korean peninsula, after the nuclear-armed North’s leader expressed a willingness to participate in his New Year speech. 

The young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics

The young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics

The young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics

They are expected to support South Korean athletes when none of their own are in action during the games

They are expected to support South Korean athletes when none of their own are in action during the games

They are expected to support South Korean athletes when none of their own are in action during the games

They boarded a convoy of South Korean buses to take them to Gangneung, where the ice hockey events will be held

They boarded a convoy of South Korean buses to take them to Gangneung, where the ice hockey events will be held

They boarded a convoy of South Korean buses to take them to Gangneung, where the ice hockey events will be held

Around 20 well-wishers waved blue and white unification flags to welcome them as they drove into South Korea

Around 20 well-wishers waved blue and white unification flags to welcome them as they drove into South Korea

Around 20 well-wishers waved blue and white unification flags to welcome them as they drove into South Korea

A convoy carrying a 280-member delegation of North Korean cheerleaders heading for the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games after arriving in South Korea across the Demilitarized Zone

A convoy carrying a 280-member delegation of North Korean cheerleaders heading for the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games after arriving in South Korea across the Demilitarized Zone

A convoy carrying a 280-member delegation of North Korean cheerleaders heading for the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games after arriving in South Korea across the Demilitarized Zone

Police officers stand guard outside the Gangneung Art Center while members of North Korea's Samjiyon art troupe tour the facility prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics

Police officers stand guard outside the Gangneung Art Center while members of North Korea's Samjiyon art troupe tour the facility prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics

Police officers stand guard outside the Gangneung Art Center while members of North Korea’s Samjiyon art troupe tour the facility prior to the 2018 Winter Olympics

North and South Korea have, at least temporarily, put aside their enmity to allow Pyongyang to send athletes to the Games, an opening that some see as an opportunity to push for a negotiated settlement. 

Kim will become the most senior-ranked North Korean official to ever cross the Demilitarized Zone into the South. 

South Korea sees their presence as an opportunity to revive meaningful communication with the North after a period of animosity and diplomatic stalemate over its nuclear weapon and missile programs.

The South also arranged for a rare chartered flight between the countries to fly the North Korean athletes to the Games. 

They were accompanied by South Korean non-Olympic skiers who earlier in the day participated in friendly competitions with North Korean skiers at the North’s Masik ski resort at the end of a two-day visit.     

Games chief Lee Hee-beom stated.Tuesday the Winter Olympics were on track despite organizers’ ongoing battle against the spread of the norovirus among private security staff.

As stated by Lee, some 1,200 private security staff have been sidelined as fear of a norovirus among some of them has forced organizers to replace them with military personnel pending medical tests.

The virus is highly contagious and causes vomiting and stomach cramps among other symptoms.

Athletes from several countries were taken ill and some were forced to miss competitions at last year’s world athletics championship in London when the virus was found to have spread through one hotel.

Games chief Lee Hee-beom stated.Tuesday the Winter Olympics were on track despite organizers' ongoing battle against the spread of the norovirus among private security staff 

Games chief Lee Hee-beom stated.Tuesday the Winter Olympics were on track despite organizers' ongoing battle against the spread of the norovirus among private security staff 

Games chief Lee Hee-beom stated.Tuesday the Winter Olympics were on track despite organizers’ ongoing battle against the spread of the norovirus among private security staff 

Military personnel are assisting the organizers as 1,200 private security personnel are currently sidelined over fears of a norovirus outbreak 

Military personnel are assisting the organizers as 1,200 private security personnel are currently sidelined over fears of a norovirus outbreak 

Military personnel are assisting the organizers as 1,200 private security personnel are currently sidelined over fears of a norovirus outbreak 

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