A tragic story if it is true.
But you need to take everything you hear from the refugee news grapevine with a considerable grain of salt. News tends to come third- and fourth-hand, and it all gets filtered through a handful of activists who are more eager to publicize atrocities than recording facts.
It isn’t out of line with what is known of the character of the regime, though.
The DPRK cheerleading squad has always been bait ripe for the popular media. Their virginal yet alluring disposition was at odds with the image of the regime they were ambassadors for. The idea of them as victims of the regime transforms them into part of an appealing, fairy-tale like narrative. So while we know that there are capital offenses prosecuted in the DPRK, this story has legs to carry it into the news cycle.
Original from the Herald Kyongje.
‘North Korean foxy cheerleaders secretly executed’ . . . . ‘shocking’
Pledged not to divulge what they had seen and heard in South Korea but
Caught by the loaded questions of skillful security bureau seeking an object of punishment
Reports have trickled out that among the North Korean cheerleaders who gave rise to so much attention during the 2002 Asian Games in Pusan, some have been put to death in secret, refugee internet newspaper New Focus (www.newfocus.co.kr) reported on the 4th.
According to reports, for quite a while word had cautiously trickled out that some of the members who had broken their vows among the cheering squad that was composed of beatiful women were confined in prison camps, but this is the first time that there are claims that they were put to death, so it is expected to be a social shock.
Refugee Mr. A reported that among the refugee women at Hanawon [Settlement Support Center for North Korean Refugees] one was the wife of the person who carried out the execution a member of the cheerleaders, and the women said that her husband was burdened with a lot of guilt from the deed, was extremely distressed. The woman’s husband said with a sigh, “Since they were directions from the Party, it couldn’t be helped, but I honestly think it was too much.”
According to Mr. A, when the beautiful cheerleading squad returned to North Korea, they implemented Lifestyle Consensus (activity of seeking morals through appraisal and reflection on one’s lifestyle). After they did this Consensus, some were sent to prison camps, and among them several were sentenced to secret execution under the direction of the North Korean regime.
Because it was under the directions of superior offices, they used the plot and pretext of the security bureau that needed to erase the results, and sent some of them to the prison camp and on the pretext of alerting them, sentenced the children of powerless households to death.
Mr. A told the shocking story, “In order to became one of North Korea’s beautiful cheerleaders they check their ancestry, but because first their appearance must be exceptional, there are bound to be several children from powerless families among them.” “These people were purged first.”
According to North Korean sources, after the North Korean beautiful cheerleaders returned to their hometowns, they spoke carefully in accordance with the oaths they took not to divulge what they saw and heard in South Korea, but they were caught up by the loaded questions of the skillful security bureau. There was nothing that could be done against the superior position of the security bureau who constantly and unconditionally pursue and punish, and the socially weak children of their households were made scapegoats.
North Korea has dispatched the beautiful cheerleading squad to the 2002 Pusan Asia Games, the 2003 Taegu Universiade, and the 2005 Inchon International Track and Field Meet. Every time that they visit they are showered with attention in South Korea and draw great popularity.