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(Olympics) N. Korean cheering squad to debut in PyeongChang Olympics

2018/02/10 10:46

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's cheering squad will begin its main activities at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at a match of the unified South and North Korean women's ice hockey team Saturday.

The North Koreans will cheer for the unified team's preliminary round match against Switzerland at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, a sub-host city of the Winter Games, in Gangwon Province.

It will be their first appearance at a match during the Olympics since they arrived in South Korea on Wednesday, constituting their formal debut at the Games.

The 229-member cheering group sent a brass band to a welcome event for the North Korean Olympic team at the athletes' village in Gangneung on Thursday and attended the Olympics opening ceremony the following day. It has not yet, however, attended a match to root for their country's athletes.

In addition to the cheerleaders, Pyongyang has sent 22 athletes to compete in five disciplines, including 12 women's ice hockey players who are part of the single team with their South Korean counterparts.

The North Korean art troupe that arrived in South Korea a day prior to the cheering squad left for Seoul on Saturday morning to rehearse for their second and last performance in the country.

The group is scheduled to cross the inter-Korean border into the North by car one day after performing at the National Theater of Korea in Seoul on Sunday.

Their Mangyongbong-92 floating hotel, docked at the eastern port of Mukho, is to return to the North after the team's departure to Seoul.