01:54 GMT +320 October 2019
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    ‘Opportunity for Cooperation’ as Seoul Drops Big Dough to Host DPRK Cheerleaders

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    Asia & Pacific
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    South Korea’s Unification Ministry allotted $2.5 million to pay for 400 North Koreans to attend the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, even though just 22 of the 400 attendees are athletes who are actually participating in the games.

    The rest of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea's (DPRK) attendees are primarily performers, including a 140-piece orchestra complete with singers and dancers, the now-notorious all-female cheering squad (229 strong) and a demonstration taekwondo troupe. 

    The cheerleaders, in particular, have been a major attraction at every event they have attended, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported.

    Seoul's $2.5 million did not go to funding the attendance of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister and senior regime officials at the games' opening ceremony, according to reports.

    "The North Korean delegation's participation in the 2018 Olympics will be an opportunity for cooperation and reconciliation between the North and South," South Korea's Unification Ministry said in a Wednesday statement.

    However, the statement also affirmed that Seoul would nonetheless "continue to work closely with the international community regarding international sanctions against the North."

    The 2018 Winter Olympics, currently ongoing in South Korea's mountainous Pyeongchang district, is the 23rd event of its kind in modern history. Over 2000 participants from 92 nations will attend. Current weather conditions are expected to favor outdoor competition, remaining below freezing at night but becoming warmer during daylight hours, with little to no precipitation.

    The quadrennial sporting event will end on February 29.


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    Olympics, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), South Korea
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