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Preparation underway to send 'army of beauties' to S. Korea.

North Korea is preparing to send a 230-member cheering squad to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, according to sources familiar with the matter.

They said the repressive state has been scouting and training candidates for the cheering squad since Jan. 10, a day after the two Koreas agreed on the North's participation in the Winter Olympics.

"Tryouts, training, education and other steps to test the candidates are underway across gyms in Pyongyang after North Korean media outlets reported the inter-Korean agreement on Jan. 10," a source said last week.

The North had sent cheering squads to the 2002 Asian Games in Busan, the 2003 Summer Universiade in Daegu and the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships in Incheon. However, this will be the first time for the North to send a so-called "army of beauties" under the current Kim Jong-un regime.

It is not easy to join the squad, whose members will be picked by Kim and his officials based on their appearance, height, and family background.

As in the past, the squad is expected to be comprised of young, attractive women, mostly in their teens or 20s, mainly from the country's major art schools, including the Pyongyang University of Dramatic and Cinematic Arts, the sources said.

A notable alumna of the squad is Ri Sol-ju, who attended the 2005 Asian Athletics Championships married Kim him four years later.

The cheering squad will be among the more than 400-member North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, along with an art troupe, officials, journalists and a taekwondo demonstration team.

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Publication:The Korea Times News (Seoul, Korea)
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Jan 21, 2018
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