The over 200 member all female cheerleading squad, dressed often in matching red snowsuits, is the largest contingent of the North Korean delegation participating in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
On Wednesday, the North Korean cheering squad and South Korean fans joined together in a unification chant, with the cheerleaders calling out “We are,” and the fans replying, “One,” while waiting for the Alpine skiing competition, that was eventually postponed due to high winds.
Perhaps the most famous former cheering squad member is Ri Sol Ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
South Korea will pay $2.64 million to cover the costs of hosting the entire North Korean delegation that number over 400 members, and includes the cheering squad, athletes, orchestra, taekwondo performers, journalists and support personnel.
The advocacy group Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called North Korea’s Olympic outreach “a significant effort at engagement and cooperation,” but added that in the long run it should be judged on whether it leads to “concrete improvements in the lives of the long-suffering North Korean people.”