The 200 cheerleaders, clad in red and dubbed the “army of beauties”, have caused massive interest at the Pyeongchang Games.
But a routine they performed during the united Korean ice hockey team’s 8-0 defeat against Switzerland has provoked fierce criticism.
Conservative groups in South Korea have said identical masks the women wore during a singing performance resembled Kim il-sung.
local media reported the North Korea women were cheering for their former leader, sparking claims the hermit state was using the tournament for propaganda.
Officials have tried to quell the controversy by claiming the image was simply a “good-looking man” and the women were singing a traditional love song.
And South Korea’s Unification Ministry quickly released a statement, saying: “After checking with a North Korean official at the scene, it has been confirmed that there was no such meaning whatsoever, as assumed in the report.”
But groups in South Korea have lashed out at the performance and accused Pyongyang of lying.
Ha Tae-kyung of the Bareun Party, said: “Will they say it’s not Kim even after seeing the picture of the younger Kim? Even the hair is identical.
“Do you have to lie when it is clear that it is a Kim Il-sung mask?
“Do you want to make Pyeongchang Olympics a ‘lie Olympics’?”
A series of petitions have been launched online in the wake of the controversy and there have even been protests.
North Korea’s cheerleading squad makes up nearly half its 500-member party at the Olympics, vastly outnumbering the 22 athletes.
They are made up of women in their 20s, handpicked from universities and nationalist groups.
Extensive background checks are carried out on the women to ensure they have the right ideology and are not related to any defectors of regime critics.
Previous members of the troupe include Ri Sol-ju, now the wife of tubby tyrant Kim Jong-un.