North Korea is sending a 230-member all-female cheerleading squad to the Olympics in South Korea.
Some observers are using the term "army of beauties" to describe the group.
North Koreans who fled the country have mixed feelings about the cheerleaders. These defectors say the women will promote an image of the North that is not real. But they also say they hope the group can help expand ties between North and South Koreans.
The cheerleaders are good-looking and relatively tall women, over 160 centimeters. They were chosen from North Korea's top universities and do not have any family members who live outside the country.
The most famous former cheerleader is Ri Sol Ju, the wife of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Before they go to South Korea, the cheerleaders are trained to remain loyal to the North Korean government and its leadership. But the training does not always work.
Han Seo-hee was once a cheerleader. Leaving North Korea and visiting overseas is like going to fight in the heart of the enemy, said Han. She visited South Korea for the 2002 Asian Games and later refused to return home.
Defectors from North Korea are skeptical about its move to suspend missile and nuclear testing. They see the suspension and the "army of beauties" as part of a plan by the North to improve its international standing and reduce support for United Nations restrictions.
Skeptics say the cheerleaders can show a misleading image of North Korea as a peaceful and happy place. However, the majority of North Koreans live in poverty, and the country's leadership has been accused of crimes against humanity.
A 2014 United Nations report documented political prison camps and human rights abuses, including murder, enslavement, torture and rape.
At the same time, North Korea watchers say connecting North and South Koreans at the Olympics can be a positive, helpful development. Giving people a chance to meet face-to-face can break down political stereotypes.
I am expecting that we will be able to feel the warmth of peace in that area, regardless of politics, said Kim Ga-young, who left North Korea in 2012.
North Korean visitors will also be able to see for themselves the freedom and wealth of South Korea, which has a democratic government. The reality will likely be different than the image they expect. North Korean state media often shows South Korea as oppressive and poor.
I'm Mario Ritter.
1.help do sth 帮助/助力做某事
He himself not only helped do some paperwork but also purchased grills for boys to toast potatoes and combs for girls who were dying to get one.
2.send sb to... 把某人送到……
So much so that at 18 he was sent to prison for 3 months for credit card fraud!
3.break down 打破，破除
Women's sports are breaking down the barriers in previously male-dominated domains.
4.be able to do sth 有能力做某事
As a politician, he is able to withstand public criticism.
5.However, the majority of North Koreans live in poverty, and the country's leadership has been accused of crimes against humanity.
be accused of... 受……指控
In 2007, Zoe’s Ark, a French charity, was accused of kidnapping more than 100 children from Chad and Sudan for adoption in France.
But I believed, and the spectators all believed, that before us we were seeing that uniform, and the woman who had worked for the SS in it, and all the crimes Hanna was accused of doing.
一些逃离朝鲜的人对于这只拉拉队有复杂的情绪 。这些叛逃朝鲜的人表示，这些女孩子虽然可以改善朝鲜的形象，但这形象并不真实 。与此同时，他们也希望这只拉拉队能助力改善朝韩之间的关系 。
拉拉队成员都样貌出众，身形修长，身高都超过一米六了 。她们都挑选自朝鲜的顶尖大学，在国外也没有亲属 。
动身前往韩国之前，这些拉拉队员接受了培训，要对朝鲜政府及其领袖忠诚 。但这种培训并不总是奏效的 。
韩瑞熙也曾是一位拉拉队员 。韩瑞熙表示，离开朝鲜，去往海外，就仿佛是要到敌人的心脏里战斗一样 。韩瑞熙曾在2002年亚运会期间到访过朝鲜，此后就不愿意回国 。
来自朝鲜的叛逃者怀疑朝鲜是否真的会暂停导弹试验和核试验 。他们认为，暂停之举与“美女军团”都只是朝鲜计划的一部分，最终目的是提升朝鲜的国际地位，减少国际社会对联合国限制性举措的支持 。
怀疑论者认为，拉拉队员让人误解朝鲜的形象，认为朝鲜是一个和平祥和的国家 。然而，大多数朝鲜人民都生活在贫困之中，而朝鲜的国家领袖也被控侵犯人权 。
而朝鲜观察家则表示，朝韩在奥运会上合体是积极有益的进展 。给了两国人民一个面对面打破政治芥蒂的机会 。
到访韩国的朝鲜人也将能够亲身感受韩国的自由和富有，因为韩国政府是一个民主的政府 。现实情况很可能与他们预想的不同 。朝鲜官媒通常将韩国表现为充满压迫的贫穷之地 。
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