North Korea's athletes are the focus of an unusual amount of attention

ABC News' Bob Woodruff speaks with Team North Korea for an upcoming National Geographic special.
2:27 | 02/11/18

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Transcript for North Korea's athletes are the focus of an unusual amount of attention
That nearly two dozen North Korean athletes competing in gun Chang are the focus of an unusual amount of attention yet it's not just for their performance T North Korea as under the watchful eyes of reminders. Likely for fear that they might defect ABC's Bob Woodruff has a big special on National Geographic channel tonight and he is in Kyung chain. With more Bob good morning to you. Well good morning danys to Syria you know there are just wanted to North Korean athletes competing in three sports that's hockey ski racing and skating. While the players from the other countries are able to just wander around freely though some North Korea cannot they're always followed making it almost impossible. For that to defect. Athletes like those coming to the Olympics if Jones John have a privileged place in North Korean society. There among the few allowed to travel out of the country and but they are closely watched. The idea of North Korean athletes defecting is certainly something that people talked about for example as I'm watching the figure skaters practice and I see them with all of their handlers. And it's quite a group of people I mean American figure skaters Canadian skaters Russian skaters they don't have that many people around them. And you save yourself is it because they think they might try to defect. I'm so I think that have to be in our minds. But no North Korean athletes have never defected at the Olympics I think it's going to be very hard to four athletes stood to fact and he'll be grave consequences to his or her. Family members three generations of family members if he's either sent a critical prison camp. Well executed. Being an athlete in North Korea is a perilous profession. Most if likely heard stories like the one former North Korean judo champ Lee Chung Soo told us when we met up with them this week console. Question you'll put yourself in this how well it took them go to an early lead to old papacy. Only here was he then we're. Mr. Lee did get the chance to compete again not in the Olympics it was at a world championship in Spain. Laurie finally defected. And because of that his brother was punished forced to work in a coal mine and later died of mr. Lee tolley in his tears he doesn't know exactly what causes death. And never will stand Cecilia. What a story and a so much more you can see the whole fascinating documentary that Bob is put together called inside North Korea live from the games he'll be airing tonight. On a National Geographic channel.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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