North Korea's Winter Olympics cheer squad are being forced into sexual slavery, according to a defector

  • North Korea's cheer squad has captured the imaginations of thousands of spectators at the Winter Olympics.
  • But a defector from Kim Jong Un's regime said there's a dark side.
  • The women are made to perform sex work for their political masters, according to Lee So Yeon, a former military musician.
  • Other accounts have also suggested that the women live in an atmosphere of coercion and control.

Members of North Korea's cheerleading squad are being forced to perform sex work for their political masters as part of their trip to the Winter Olympics, according to a soldier who defected from the country.

Lee So Yeon, a military musician who fled the country in 2008, said that the cheer squad, which has captured the imagination of many spectators, are effectively sex slaves when they're off-camera.

In an interview with Bloomberg, Lee said: "It might seem like a fancy show on the outside [but] they also have to go to parties and provide sexual services.

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A man impersonating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gestures as he stands before North Korean cheerleaders attending the Unified Korean ice hockey game against Japan during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
This Kim Jong Un impersonator walked in front of the North Korean cheering squad at the Olympics, and boy were they… https://t.co/LhyFY6Yv9i
A man impersonating North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is removed by security offices after waving a unified Korean flag before North Korean cheerleaders attending the Unified Korean ice hockey game against Japan during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 14, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
Ice Hockey ? Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Women's Preliminary Round Match ? Korea v Japan - Kwandong Hockey Centre, Gangneung, South Korea ? February 14, 2018 - A Kim Jong-un impersonator stands next to the North Korean cheerleaders. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium - Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea hold unification flags as they wait the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics ? Opening ceremony ? Pyeongchang Olympic Stadium- Pyeongchang, South Korea ? February 9, 2018 - Cheerleaders of North Korea await the start of the opening ceremony. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and Unified Korea during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and Unified Korea during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and Unified Korea during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korean cheerleaders hold the flags of the unified Korean team during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Korea and Sweden, at the Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korean cheerleaders hold the flags of the unified Korean team during the womens preliminary round ice hockey match between Korea and Sweden, at the Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and Unified Korea during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders attend the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Sweden and Unified Korea during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 12, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A photo taken on February 10, 2018 shows North Korean cheerleaders wearing masks as they perform during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team and Switzerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung. According to Yonhap, South Korea's unification ministry has denied reports that the masks featured the image of North Korea's late founding leader Kim Il-sung. The masks were worn as the cheerleaders sang 'Whistle', a North Korean song whose lyrics are about a man's unrequited love for a female neighbor. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders perform during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team loose to Switzerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders perform during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team and Switzerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders perform as (top L-R) South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, and Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un watch the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team and Switzerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korea's cheerleaders cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jung Yeon-je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders hold the Unified Korea flag and cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jung Yeon-je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders perform during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round, Group B match between North Korea and Switzerland on day one of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders hold the Unified Korea flag and cheer after the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Jung Yeon-je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong (middle row R) and North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam (middle row center) and IOC President Thomas Bach (C) sit behing North Korea's cheerleaders waving the Unified Korea's flags before the first period of the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, South Korea on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
A North Korean cheerleader waits for the first period of the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung, South Korea on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders perform during a visit by United States Vice President Mike Pence to Gangneung Ice Arena on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Mr Pence is on the final day of a three day visit to South Korea where he watched last night's opening ceremony in close proximity to North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders perform during a visit by United States Vice President Mike Pence to Gangneung Ice Arena on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Mr Pence is on the final day of a three day visit to South Korea where he watched last night's opening ceremony in close proximity to North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders perform during a visit by United States Vice President Mike Pence to Gangneung Ice Arena on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. Mr Pence is on the final day of a three day visit to South Korea where he watched last night's opening ceremony in close proximity to North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam and Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders prior to the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between the unified Korea team and Switzerland at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics, at the Gangneung Ice Arena in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders members the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / YELIM LEE (Photo credit should read YELIM LEE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round - Group B game between Switzerland and Korea on day one of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 10: North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave during the Women's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round - Group B game between Switzerland and Korea on day one of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Kwandong Hockey Centre on February 10, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders cheer during the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders cheer before the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders arrive to watch the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
9th February 2018, Pyeongchang, South Korea; 2018 Winter Olympic Games; PyeongChang Olympic Stadium; North Korean cheerleaders waving their arms in support of their team during the Opening Ceremony (Photo by Roland Harrison/Action Plus via Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders wave their country's flag as they gather ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's cheerleaders arrive to watch the women's preliminary round ice hockey match between Switzerland and the Unified Korean team during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Kwandong Hockey Centre in Gangneung on February 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave prior to the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave prior to the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave prior to the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders gather ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / MOHD RASFAN (Photo credit should read MOHD RASFAN/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korean cheerleaders wave ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Martin BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
A South Korean girl (C) wearing traditional dress looks at North Korean cheerleaders performing during a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders perform during a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean athletes (top) watch North Korean cheerleaders performing during a welcoming ceremony for the team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders wave as they gather ahead of the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at the Pyeongchang Stadium on February 9, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive to participate in a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018, ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive to participate in a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018, ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders perform during a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders prepare to perform before a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korean cheerleaders leave after a welcoming ceremony for North Korea's Olympic team at the Olympic Village in Gangneung on February 8, 2018, ahead of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders walk to their accomodation at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang, on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders walk to their accomodation at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang, on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders walk to their accomodation at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang, on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders walk to their accomodation at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang, on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at the Inje Speedium resort complex, where they are staying during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A North Korean cheerleader sits aboard a bus as their convoy arrives at the Inje Speedium resort complex, where they are staying during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang, on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at the Inje Speedium, a racetrack and hotel complex, in Inje, north of Pyeongchang on February 7, 2018 ahead of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / JUNG Yeon-Je (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at a rest stop, or service station, as their bus convoy carrying a 280-member delegation on its way to the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games, makes its way past Gapyeong on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at a rest stop, or service station, as their bus convoy carrying a 280-member delegation on its way to the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games, makes its way past Gapyeong on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at a rest stop, or service station, as their bus convoy carrying a 280-member delegation on its way to the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games, makes its way past Gapyeong on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korean cheerleaders arrive at a rest stop as their bus convoy carrying a 280-member delegation on its way to the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games, makes its way past Gapyeong on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - North Korean cheerleaders arrive at a rest stop as their bus convoy carrying a 280-member delegation on its way to the 2018 Pyeongchang winter Olympic games, makes its way past Gapyeong on February 7, 2018. More than 200 young North Korean women arrived in South Korea to root for athletes from both sides of the peninsula at the Winter Olympics. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
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"They go to the central Politburo party’s events, and have to sleep with the people there, even if they don’t want it.

"Those sorts of human-rights infringements take place, where women have to follow what they are told to do with their bodies."

She appeared to be referring to how the women are treated in North Korea, rather than during the Olympics themselves.

The claims from Lee, who now helps rehabilitate fellow defectors who come to South Korea, are more extreme than other accounts of how the women are treated, but tallies with a more general alleged pattern of coercion and control.

Cheerleaders go through an excruciating vetting process, are unpaid, and guarded 24 hours a day. If they do anything wrong, they end up in prison.

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North Korean athletes arrive in South Korea
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North Korean athletes arrive in South Korea
North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea's national training center on January 25, 2018 in Jincheon, South Korea. REUTERS/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool
North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea's national training center on January 25, 2018 in Jincheon, South Korea. REUTERS/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool
REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO IN BYLINE North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea's national training center on January 25, 2018 in Jincheon, South Korea. REUTERS/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool
REFILE - ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?Sarah Murray (C), head coach of the combined women's ice hockey team is seen as North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea's national training center on January 25, 2018 in Jincheon, South Korea. REUTERS/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool
North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the South Korea's national training center on January 25, 2018 in Jincheon, South Korea. REUTERS/Song Kyung-Seok/Pool
Figure Skating - ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2018 - Pairs - Taipei, Taiwan - January 26, 2018 - Bronze medalists Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik of North Korea attend a news conference. REUTERS/Tyrone�Siu
Figure Skating - ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2018 - Pairs - Taipei, Taiwan - January 26, 2018 - Bronze medalists Ryom Tae Ok and Kim Ju Sik of North Korea hug their coach after a news conference. REUTERS/Tyrone�Siu
PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 25: North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) office near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on January 25, 2018 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)
PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 25: North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) office near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on January 25, 2018 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)
PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 25: North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) office near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on January 25, 2018 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)
PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 25: North Korean women's ice hockey players arrive at the CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) office near the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating South and North Korea on January 25, 2018 in Paju, South Korea. (Photo by Korea Pool/Getty Images)
A bus carrying North Korea's women's ice hockey players, who will form a unified Korean team at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, drives past the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas in Paju on January 25, 2018. North Korea is contributing 12 players to the unified ice hockey squad, in addition to the original 23 South Korean skaters, the two Koreas and the International Olympic Committee agreed at the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / KOREA POOL / KOREA POOL / South Korea OUT (Photo credit should read KOREA POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
JINCHEON-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 26: In this handout image provided by the Joint Government Support Corps, North Korean women's ice hockey players talks with South Korean coach during their training at South Korea's national training center on January 26, 2018 in Jincheon-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Joint Government Support Corps via Getty Images)
JINCHEON-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 26: In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korean women's hockey team players (R) talk with North Korean women's ice hockey team players (L) at the South Korea's national training center on January 26, 2018 in Jincheon-gun, South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Unification Ministry via Getty Images)
JINCHEON-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 26: In this handout image provided by the Joint Government Support Corps, North Korean women's ice hockey players training with Sarah Murray (C), head coach of the two Korea's unified women's ice hockey team at South Korea's national training center on January 26, 2018 in Jincheon-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Joint Government Support Corps via Getty Images)
JINCHEON-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 26: In this handout image provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korea and North Korea women's ice hockey team players meet at the South Korea's national training center on January 26, 2018 in Jincheon-gun, South Korea. (Photo by South Korean Unification Ministry via Getty Images)
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Athletes are not exempt either. North Korea's Olympians are followed into the toilet and have round-the-clock security who will tackle them if they try to run away.

Athletes are slaves

Kim Hyung Soo, a 54-year-old father of a former North Korean skier, also described the women as "slaves," though he didn't mention anything sexual. Hyung-soo told Bloomberg that "athletes are Kim Jong-Un's sports slaves."

He said: "Even the coaches are slaves to Kim Jong Un and to the North Korean regime. The athletes and the cheerleaders, too. They are all Kim Jong Un and North Korea’s slaves."

The 2018 Winter Olympics ends on Sunday.

NOW WATCH: No one wants to host the Olympics anymore — will they go away?

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SEE ALSO: North Korean Olympians have a 24/7 surveillance team who will tackle them if they try to run away

DON'T MISS: All eyes are on the fierce and creepy chants of the North Korean cheer squad at the Winter Olympics (and they'll go to prison if they do anything wrong)

UP NEXT: The 229 women in North Korea's 'Army of Beauties' at the Winter Olympics are hand picked, unpaid, and guarded 24/7

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