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Sports

North Korea-watching at the Rio Olympics

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Opening sequence

Sports

North Korea-watching at the Rio Olympics

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COMING UP:North Korea-watching at the Rio Olympics

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Transcript

00:00:02
>> Here's an Olympic event you may not have heard about, North Korea watching. Yes, North Koreans go to the Olympics, in fact, Rio is their tenth, and they even win gold. They're good at judo, weight lifting, and wrestling. I'm Reuters Jane Lanhee Lee, and I've been trying to score an interview with the North Koreans.
00:00:19
They tend to be easier to meet at global sporting events. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, North and South Korea even marched together in the opening ceremony under one flag. But with relations between the two nations at a chill, it wasn't easy to get them to talk. They did let me snap some selfies, the South Korean gymnast obviously got a better one.
00:00:39
And they are a surprising cheering squad, even rousing up the the Brazilians to cheer for them. But generally, the athletes run away from the media after their events. Has been covering them and chasing them for nearly two decades. He works for Radio Free Asia, funded by Congress and whose mission is to get more accurate information into places like North Korea.
00:01:02
The story he's been trying to pin down, are the North Korean athletes going to be able to get and keep the Samsung smartphones given to all the athletes?>> Of course, the phone has a sensor logo in it, which is a South Korean company. The Samsung phone has a lot of technology in it, for example, GPS.
00:01:21
Inside of North Korea, you're not allowed to carry a GPS device.>> So he's been asking the North Korean athletes about the phone. Enough that finally after a week of prodding, he's gotten a rare open chiding from the North Korean sports' officials.>> We also have phones that are much better than those.
00:01:39
We're good at that too. Why do you want to know whether we're using them or not?>> After demanding that I stop filming, they went on to criticize South Korean reporters of trying to tarnish their image and that's why they won't give South Korean reporters interviews. As for me, i was told half jokingly by one official, that I wasn't cheering for the North, so I shouldn't get an interview either.