2018 Winter Olympics: 229 North Korean Cheerleaders Steal The Show, Waving 'Unified Korea' Flags

| February 11 , 2018 , 15:17 IST

The 2018 Winter Olympics, taking place in South Korea, marked a special return for North Korea, which generally bars international travel for its citizens and last participated in the Winter Olympics 8 years ago.

Currently engaged in an on-going tiff with the US over its repeated missile tests and nuclear tests, North Korea has been depicted by the US and international media as a nation that is overly repressed by its Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

Proving wrong its perceived image, is a 229-member all-female North Korean cheer squad, that stole the show during the ice hockey match on Saturday. Dressed in matching red outfits, the all-women squad was full of energy, gusto and excitement as they moved with impeccable coordination; singing, dancing and waving flags of the 'unified Korea' as their joint ice hockey team came to the floor.

Regardless that the Koreas' joint hockey team, formed only two weeks back, lost to Switzerland 8-0, the coordination and energy of the cheer squad were considered to be the highlight of the match.

North and South Korea first displayed the flag of unified Korea, a white flag with the shape of the Korean peninsula on it in blue colour, during the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships and at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.

Image result for unified Korea flag

According to analysts, North Korea's display at the Winter Olympics in South Korea, as well as sending North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's own sister Kim Yong Nam to lead the Pyongyang delegation is not without purpose.

The delegation, which includes cheerleaders, fans, reporters, a taekwondo demonstration team and a 140-member orchestra team apart from the participants, is reportedly an attempt to show the strength and contentment of North Koreans under the leadership of Kim Jong-Un.

Kim Yong Nam, the first immediate member of the Kim family ever to travel to South Korea, is expected to meet with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, possibly in an attempt to soften South Korea's stance towards North Korea, as well as drive a wedge between South Korean and US ties.