Tags: north korea | olympics | kim jong un

The 'Agony of Defeat' Is Quite Real in North Korea

The 'Agony of Defeat' Is Quite Real in North Korea
The Olympic Rings are pictured ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 7, 2018. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)

By with Michael R. Shannon Saturday, 24 February 2018 09:00 AM Current | Bio | Archive

As Mark Twain once said of being tarred and feathered, “If it weren't for the honor, I'd just as soon have walked." So it goes for being a North Korean Olympian. The ability to leave the Hermit Kingdom prison complex is a nice change for the Olympians, but it comes with extraordinary pressure and extraordinary surveillance.

CNN reports that North Korean competitors are watched so closely they’re not allowed to use the bathroom alone. This seems like carrying the buddy system to extremes, however any defections from the North Korean team would be a slap in the face to its doughy dictator, Kim Jong Un. And there would be drastic repercussions for officials accompanying the team.

And that’s just for bodily functions. The all-seeing watchfulness during Olympics is even greater. Each time a North Korean competitor begins his or her event their hope is to do well enough to avoid the fate of the 1966 North Korean World Cup soccer team.

The fact that team made history by just appearing in the second round of the World Cup was not enough. After losing to Portugal, The Sun reports the entire team was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. There they were tortured for years by sadistic guards egged on by a sadistic regime.

A defector who fled the gulag nation in 2009 reports that athletes and coaches who disappoint are still sentenced to months of hard labor in the coal mines as punishment. An expert on North Korea told The Telegraph that competitors “who won medals will be rewarded with better housing allocations, better rations... and maybe other gifts from the regime."

The best those who “disappoint” Kim Jong Un can hope for is being reassigned to shoddy housing and leaving the training table for regular rations. If the “disappointment” is too great then it will be the coal mines for them.

Among the athletes currently feeling nervous about their return are the figure skating pair of Tae Ok Ryo and Ju Sik Kim. They failed to earn a medal during their competition.

I imagine that even the 200 cheerleaders the regime dispatched to the games are feeling nervous about their reception back home. There was no cheerleader competition and U.S. OpMedia outlets fawned all over the young women, but there was a hiccup earlier in the week. A Kim Jong Un impersonator made his way over to the pep squad and began to dance and cavort in front of the girls before security drug him away. I thought it was funny, but here in the U.S. you don’t go to jail for a laugh.

Not so in North Korea. If any of the girls slipped up and so much as smiled during the impersonator’s performance, they are undoubtedly hoping that no cameras caught the potentially incriminating grin.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Reagan, is a Newsmax TV analyst. A syndicated columnist and author, he chairs The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Michael is an in-demand speaker with Premiere speaker’s bureau. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Go Here Now.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher for the League of American Voters, and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.

© Mike Reagan

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CNN reports that North Korean competitors are watched so closely they’re not allowed to use the bathroom alone.
north korea, olympics, kim jong un
Saturday, 24 February 2018 09:00 AM
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