North Korea’s female cheerleaders, who have attracted attention in the past for their choreographed cheers at international competitions, are making a splash at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games.

During the first match between North Korea and Chinese Taipei in Group F of the men’s soccer competition at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, four North Korean women cheerleaders dressed in matching mauve pique T-shirts and hats came to the stadium to cheer on their team.

The North Korean supporters fanned themselves and cheered loudly as the game began. They were brought to tears when Ri Zoguk opened the scoring in the seventh minute and chanted the name of Kim Kook Jin, who scored the winning goal. When the North Korean goalkeeper made a save, they chanted, “Good job, gatekeeper of the DPRK.”

They leapt out of their chairs or jumped out of their seats with balloons whenever North Korea got a chance. It was a far cry from the stilted group cheers at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Two days later, on the afternoon of Nov. 21, the second men’s soccer qualifier between North Korea and Kyrgyzstan drew about 30 supporters wearing white T-shirts with artificial aircraft printed on them and matching hats to the stadium. The supporters were mostly young women.

They arrived at the stands 20 minutes before kickoff, snapping selfies of the players warming up and taking photos of their cheerful faces. As the game time approached, a man who appeared to be in charge gave instructions on the angle of the large inflatable holding the cheerleaders. He also instructed them to “remove their hats during the national anthem.”

When Kim Kook-jin scored the first goal in the 20th minute of the first half, the supporters waved their signs, clapped their hands, and cheered for the team to leave the stadium. One woman shouted, “I love you Kim Kook Jin,” as the players exited the stadium after the game, pointing to Kim, who had scored goals in the first and second games.

However, the supporters were extremely reluctant to interact with the media. When reporters approached the apparent leaders and asked them how they felt about participating in the tournament and the first-round victory, they would avert their gaze, saying, “I have nothing to say,” or “I don’t want to talk,” with hand gestures indicating that they refused to talk before the questions were finished.토토사이트

The North Korean national soccer team topped the group with six points after two straight wins over Chinese Taipei (2-0) and Kyrgyzstan (1-0). If North Korea advances to the round of 16 as the group’s runner-up, it will face the South Korean national team, which finished first in Group E, in the round of 16.

Meanwhile, North Korea was suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for unilaterally boycotting the 2021 Tokyo Olympics due to the coronavirus. North Korea, whose ban was lifted on Dec. 31 last year, has gradually returned to international competition this year, sending nearly 200 athletes to the Hangzhou Asian Games.

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