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AP Essay: Against tense global backdrop, let the Games begin

February 07,2018 12:41

And yes, that's happening in Pyeongchang even before the Games begin, most dramatically with the joint Korean women's hockey team, which will feature players from the long-divided North and South skating and competing together on the same ice. But ...


INJE, South Korea — A 229-member strong, all-female cheering section has arrived from North Korea for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
The squad, which features women chosen for their youth, good looks and enthusiasm, has been allowed to root for the North’s much smaller contingent of athletes — only about 22 are competing — as part of a last-minute arrangement between Pyongyang and Seoul.
Both sides are hoping to use participation by the North in the games to ease tensions that have been exceptionally high over the past year amid North Korea’s stepped-up missile launches and nuclear weapons’ development.
Arriving with the cheering squad was North Korea’s Sports Minister Kim Il Guk, Olympic committee officials and a demonstration taekwondo team that will perform before the opening ceremony on Friday and again later in Seoul.

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