North Korea sent a squad of 229 cheerleaders to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, who smiled and performed cheers at the games.
However, a disturbing report based on first-hand knowledge from North Korean defectors reveals that the cheerleaders are forced to live a horrifying life of sex slavery behind the scenes – even while they are attending the Olympics.
The New York Post reported on Friday:
Behind the scenes, the troupe — dubbed the “Pleasure Squad” by insiders — are forced to perform sex acts on party leaders during their trip to the Olympics, a defector with knowledge of the sexual slavery told Bloomberg News.
“[The] troupe came here and performed with dances and songs, and it might seem like a fancy show on the outside [but] they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services,” said defector Lee So Yeon, a military musician who fled the country in 2008, during Kim Jong Un’s regime.
“They go to the central Politburo party’s events, and have to sleep with the people there, even if they don’t want it,” said Yeon, 42.
The report said the cheerleaders are chosen based on their looks, family ties and political loyalty, and are monitored 24 hours a day.
“When the cheerleaders “retire,” they’re often married off to elite guards and sometimes paid to keep quiet about the regime’s dirty secrets,” the report concluded.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s wife is also a former member of the cheerleading squad, according to a TIME video report.