North Korea's national cheerleaders — who became mainstream media’s darlings at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics — are likely alleged sex slaves for the dictatorship’s regime, according to a new report by Bloomberg News.
Arts performers in North Korea not only promote propaganda but attend daily parties where they must provide sexual services, Lee So-yeon, 42, a former military musician who fled North Korea in 2008, told Bloomberg News.
North Korea’s art troupe came here and performed with dances and songs, and it might seem like a fancy show on the outside. However, they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services, that sort of pain also follows. They go to the central Politburo party’s events, and have to sleep with the people there, even if they don’t want it. Those sorts of human-rights infringements take place, where women have to follow what they are told to do with their bodies.
So-yeon now leads the New Korea Women’s Union. The group helps female defectors acclimate to life in South Korea and provides treatment for women who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, Bloomberg reported.
What did another defector say?
Another defector that spoke to Bloomberg News said North Korea’s cheerleaders and athletes face a life of punishment, control and sexual slavery. Both defectors said the events they spoke of happened several years ago. But it is likely that similar abuses are still happening today, the report noted.
Kim Hyung-soo, 54, defected to South Korea in 2009 with his son, a skier who competed in the North Korean national league. He told Bloomberg:
In one word, athletes are Kim Jong Un’s sports "slaves." Even the coaches are slaves to Kim Jong Un, and to the North Korean regime. Because in North Korea, Kim Jong Un and the regime is the entire world. The athletes and the cheerleaders, too. They are all Kim Jong Un and North Korea’s slaves. The cheerleaders, too. They select people who are unlikely to defect, and people with loyal backgrounds. This factor is crucial from a very early stage.
Hyung-soo now heads “Stepping Stones,” a non-governmental organization that supports defectors.
Human Rights Watch defines North Korea as one of the world's "most oppressive nations."
The non-profit group cites "extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions, and other sexual violence," as some of the regime's practices. North Korea also operates secretive prison camps where perceived government opponents are locked up and face brainwashing sessions called "re-education," along with physical abuse, starvation rations, and forced labor.
TheBlaze previously reported on statements the mainstream media made about the North Korea's cheerleaders. Their comments glorified the squad while downplaying the nation's history of brutal human rights violations.
Here's how the mainstream media fawned over the cheerleaders:
The Wall Street Journal: “The North Korean cheer squad’s presence was impossible for even the skaters to ignore.”
ABC News: “North Korea’s 200-plus cheerleaders command spotlight at 2018 Winter Olympics with synchronized chants.”
NBC: NBC was forced to delete a tweet after they praised North Korea’s cheerleading team as “so satisfying to watch.”