South Korea approves record $2.6 million budget for North Koreans' Olympic visit https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/13/south-korea-approves-2-point-6-million-olympic-budget-for-north-koreans.html South Korea approved on Wednesday the use of a record 2.86 billion won ($2.64 million) to bankroll the cost of hosting hundreds of visiting North Koreans during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
The Ministry of Unification said that these funds will cover the costs of the visit, which will include accommodation and food for North Korea's cheering squad, orchestra, taekwondo performers, as well as for journalists and other supporting personnel. Combined, they make a group of 424 North Koreans.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in had invited North Korea athletes, supporters and officials to the Olympics in an attempt to lower months of tension between Pyongyang, Seoul and Washington over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.
Why you shouldn't buy North Korea's Olympic charm offensive
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — North Korea has ambushed the Olympics, unleashing a charm offensive with cheerleaders and a dictator’s sister and olive branches to enemies near and far.
Don’t buy it.
That’s the message from Suki Kim, an author who went undercover in North Korea in 2011, posing as an English teacher for the upper class. She finds the world’s reaction to the first few days of the Olympics unsettling to say the least.
“This whole charm offensive, I don’t find any of it charming,” she said by phone on Tuesday after flying back to the States from Seoul. “The world’s media has been complicit as far as making it seem charming. In plain words, it’s propaganda.”
Kim wrote about her experiences in the New York Times bestseller, “Without You, There Is No Us.”
“I went there five times, lived there undercover,” she said. “They are masters at propaganda and lying all the time. It’s hard to get at the heart of the place. It’s buried in lies, layers of lies. The biggest mistake is assuming it works the same way as the rest of the world. There’s a reason no one goes in and no one goes out.”