North Korean Olympians who win any medals at the upcoming Winter Olympics Games will be awarded massively by country’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, revealed a defector.
The leader of the rogue nation is sending 22 athletes to South Korea to participate in the Winter Olympics next month. The dictator has reportedly decided to award an expensive apartment and a flashy Mercedes Benz to those who return with a victory.
The athletes who win a medal of any color will also be awarded the honorary titles of “National Hero” and “Hero of Labor.”
Interestingly, that is not where the perks end. The winners will also be given jobs, such as that of sports club directors, coaches or other sport staff positions after they retire from sports.
However, chances of winning remain slim for these Olympians, as North Korea has just won two medals — silver and bronze — in ice skating at the winter games since 1964.
Former North Korean athlete Lee Ji Young, who now resides in South Korea, explained how kids who have an Olympics potential are handpicked when they are as young as 4 years old and are then made to go through tough training after being moved to Pyongyang.
These potential athletes aren’t allowed to get married until they are in their mid-20s. However, they are paid three times more than an average worker and are given better food rations.
“Athletes in North Korea are provided housing, food, uniforms, sports equipment, and other things, but the national-level athletes have access to substantially better facilities than athletes outside the capital. They also have access to about as much meat as they want,” the defector said.
Lee also believes that life for athletes has got even better under Kim Jong-un’s regime because of his love for sports.
Meanwhile, although the leader of the hermit kingdom has decided to award the winners, reports about him running out of funds are also making headlines. A critical slush fund inherited from Kim’s predecessor is reportedly depleting, all thanks to the increase in number of nuclear weapons and frequent missile tests.
“We can speculate that he spent a lot of money from the number of missile [and nuclear weapons] tests he carried out,” said one of the sources on the condition of anonymity. “Most of the funding for nuclear weapon and missile development is coming from Kim Jong-un’s slush fund.”
According to sources who wished to stay unnamed, the nation’s decision to participate in the upcoming Winter Olympic Games is part of a plot to boost its failing economy.
No wonder Kim Jong-un is so desperate for a win on the Olympians’ part after investing all his funds to senseless missile testings.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, KCNA