Friday, February 17, 2006

Remember the North Korean Cheerleaders?

I remember when I was living in Seoul the Asian Games were held in Busan, and then the Universidad games in Taegu. I remember that for both these games, the biggest hits were the North Korean cheerleaders. They were extremely good looking girls that came cheering for their team, with DPRK and Korean unification flags. In fact, much more airtime and newstime was spent on them than the rest of the games. And not without reason: they were sweet cheery nice girls from North Korea. When they weren't performing their cheers ("Skill! Technique! Focus!") they were staying at a hotel off-limits to anyone else (many young guys would drive up there to meet them and get turned away).


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And then there was the incident with the Kim Jong-il poster, which was a bit strange, but interesting. They were in the bus going back to their dormitories after a game and noticed a banner of Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung that was in the rain, and close to the ground. They started shouting for the bus driver to stop, and in fact one girl slammed on the breaks herself. Then they rushed over to the poster and took it back with them, so that the picture of their Dear Leader wouldn't get ruined.

I also remember how South Korean girls would throw written notes at them from their stands during the games. The notes were always innocent, as in "I hope we all get to be together soon", and they would all scream and cheer together with the south koreans after each of the notes.

Either way, for those who lived in Korea during this time, these cheerleaders were a big event. Guys would ogle over them, and girls would cheer them on. They always had smiles on their faces and watching them made reunification seem so much closer at hand. For once it was nice to see South Koreans genuinely happy, and North Koreans looking excited to be there, both groups sitting right next to each other on the stands, without politics getting in the way. I bring this up because apparently they're in a gulag now.

17 comments:

danny said...

whoa, and their hat has a "swoosh".

BBS said...

man that sucks... i hate when pretty cheerleaders get sent to gulags... that should be outlawed.. it ought to be outlawed...

Lugano said...

Danny: Yes. But it is obviously a North Korean made Juche swoosh. Not to be confused with the warmongering capitalist Nike variety.

bbs: I concur. Let's sign a petition.

jihun said...

okay, now i'm officially a blogger
myself.
i'm in the loop!

Lugano said...

Welcome to the club. And the loop. Nerdy blogger.

Mia said...

Dork, only blogger people can post comments. And Ji should be banned because she doesn't have anything on her blogger site.

jihun said...

I can't be bothered to post anything or write essays or
journals.
Yes, I'm a lazy bum.

Lugano said...

Point well taken Mia. Ok. Ji has 24 hours as of this comment to post something or she will be blocked from this blog. I suggest you all do the same.

danny said...

i second that motion.

jihun said...

Wait, wait...
oh no...
what to do, what to do.

jihun said...

Done.
I started my blog on a very
personal note.
Come and see.

pang said...

Gosh, such a huge effort to join the 'nerdy blogger' loop... Well, I'm now in too.

PhD Wannabe said...

hey, i'm actually impressed how Kim Jong Il could keep his country from seeing what's going on out in the world by jailing those cheerleaders. next time just might as well blind folded them once they sit in the stadium.

and i heard six party talk is falling apart because NK is igoring aid and getting under the table from china.. maybe a unique nash equilibrium will now emerge!!

Lugano said...

Yeah, it just shows the extreme control he holds. It is pretty amazing that in this day and age people's mentalities can be controled to such an extent.

And I'm pretty sure NK's deals with China will not bring any sort of ideal nash equilibrium. I think it's more of a show of goodwill and trying to portray the image that he is learning market reforms. This is speculation, but I imagine China told him to do it, and he might have secured something in exchange. It makes NK look good in that it's trying to learn how markets work and China looks good because it's trying to teach (So US haters like Mark can applaude China). I think it's pure theater. But hopefully I'm wrong.

PhD Wannabe said...

despite the fact that China and NK could be putting show for 4 other countries, the strategy does create a win win situation for China and NK isn't it?

and since it's a win win situation (NK got laid off by other 4, get food, money, capital from china, China itself got more demand in consumption increase its revenue/profit)..then at least one pareto optimal allocation does exist -> nash equilibrium (if not unique) exists as well

but it's almost 4 a.m dude, so my brain is frying and begging me to go to bed. (I just finished my darn micro hw)

PhD Wannabe said...

but yeah i agree though that hopefully china and NK are not putting on some fake teacher/student role... i mean if the strategy is optimal for these 2 countries.. it's definitely not for the rest of the world (or at least the other big 4)

Mia said...

And what happened to the paper we were going to write togther? j/k I have no time until May.