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A significant chunk of North Korea's 550-person delegation to the 2018 Winter Olympics will be members of the nation's "cheering squad," The Associated Press reported Wednesday. Some 230 North Koreans are reportedly traveling to Pyeongchang, South Korea, for the express purpose of root-root-rooting for the home team, a move Japan has dismissed as being nothing more than a "charm offensive," Reuters writes.
North and South Korea agreed earlier this month for the North to send a symbolic delegation to the Olympics, including the cheer team and a 140-member art troupe. On Wednesday, South Korea confirmed that the two technically warring nations will march together during the opening ceremony under a unified Korean Peninsula flag. South Korea is additionally appealing to the Olympic committee to allow for its women's hockey team roster to be expanded so North Korean players can join, a move that could potentially lead to the Koreas' first unified competitive Olympic team.
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono wrote off the symbolic moves, claiming that "it is not the time to ease pressure, or to reward North Korea." Kono added, "The fact that North Korea is engaging in dialogue could be interpreted as proof that the sanctions are working." Learn more about the North Korean cheerleading team below. Jeva Lange