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(Olympics) Pro-Pyongyang body's cheering squad not allowed to join N.K. cheerleaders: report

2018/02/07 10:21

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SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- A cheering group from a pro-Pyongyang organization in Japan has not been allowed to join cheerleaders from North Korea at the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics this week, a United States broadcaster reported Wednesday.

An official at the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that Chongryon asked the South Korean government to make seating arrangements at the ceremony for its cheering group to sit together with the North's cheerleaders, but the South Korean government rejected the request.

The North's cheerleaders arrived in the South on Wednesday as part of a 280-member delegation that also includes taekwondo demonstrators. The Olympics will open on Friday in the South Korean alpine town of PyeongChang.

The official, however, said the pro-North Korean body is satisfied with South Korea's measures, including the issuance of travel certificates, the report said.

The first 100-member contingent of cheerleaders from the Tokyo-based body is scheduled to enter the South on Thursday for a five-day stay. The South Korean government issues travel certificates instead of visas to Chongryon people, North Korean citizens living in Japan.

This undated file photo shows the building of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Yonhap) This undated file photo shows the building of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, known as Chongryon, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Yonhap)

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