Opinion: A Kim In Sheep’s Clothing


Neil Burger
Contributing Writer

The 2018 Winter Olympics are in full swing in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Millions of people are tuning in from around the world to watch the best athletes their country has to offer to compete for olympic gold.

Despite the popularity of all the events, like the graceful ice skating, the rough and tumble hockey and the sport everyone thinks they could get gold in, curling, a great deal of attention has been on the geopolitical situation surrounding North and South Korea.

One specific person involved in those politics has been the recipient of a disproportionate amount of that attention, Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong. The disturbing part is that much of the attention on Kim Yo-Jong has been oddly positive from many publications.

In a New York Times article from Feb. 11, authors Motoko Rich and Choe Sang-Hun, go on about Kim Yo-Jong’s looks and elegance as she visits the games, all the while pillorying Mike Pence.

Criticizing the Trump administration is far from unusual and is certainly warranted in some cases, but to do that while also upholding a high-ranking official of a ruthless dictatorship as some attractive realpolitik figure is ridiculous.

“Do not be like these journalists and fall for the honeyed words and sweet smiles of a propagandist, like Yo-Jong.”

They cite her as having “a sphinx-like smile” and that she “manages to outflank Mr. Trump’s envoy to the Olympics, Vice President Pence.” They then go on to describe her as some kind of timid tiger with “her quietly friendly approach” and “her no-nonsense hairstyle and dress, her low-key makeup and the sprinkle of freckles on her cheeks.”

I feel as though they are describing some new Disney princess, except she’s actually a princess of propaganda, and is not one to be admired.

Yo-Jong is in charge of handling her brothers image and ensuring that North Korea’s propaganda is effective, while also ensuring that there are no enemies of the state providing opinions to the contrary. For a few years she was a top official in the Propaganda and Agitation department, and now holds a high level position in their Communist Party.

This woman is responsible for the nationwide censorship of millions of people and the promotion of a regime that starves its people, frequently threatens nuclear war, and has active prison and work camps all over the country, comparable to those found in the Holocaust.

The Times is not the only outlet to go soft on Kim Yo-Jong. In an CNN article, Joe Sterling and Sheena Mckenzie, began with: “If “diplomatic dance” were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong-Un’s younger sister would be favored to win gold.”

Really? Maybe this opening line would be warranted if she brokered a peace between the North and the South, after an over sixty-year armistice that has had border incidents that have resulted in the capture and deaths of hundreds of Koreans and Americans, but no, she just smiled and waved like a penguin from the movie “Madagascar,” while saying a few kind words.

The writers also claimed that Yo-Jong “is not only a powerful member of Kim Jong Un’s kitchen cabinet but also a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic.” The only problem with that statement is that North Korea is antiquated and militaristic.

It must be that Yo-Jong is that good at propaganda that she can effectively manipulate the free press of the most prosperous nation on Earth into believing that a country that cannot provide basic necessities to its people, and shoots anyone who tries to leave, is a peaceful country that has embraced modernity.

Follow Us On Twitter & Facebook!
Stay up to date with Flyer News and campus activities.

Look up a satellite photo of North Korea at night and tell me that a country with a small dot of light reserved for their political elite in a sea of darkness is modern. Look up the news stories from any point in the last two decades about North Korea ramping up its nuclear program and threatening the destruction of the Western world.

The North Korean regime is using the Olympics as a means of gaining some favorable press to prolong their rule and lessen the pressure on themselves. All the talk of unification is going to go nowhere, because unification means something very different to the North.

Unification in their eyes is a korea that is united and subservient to the Kim regime. Do not be like these journalists and fall for the honeyed words and sweet smiles of a propagandist, like Yo-Jong.

She is part of a dying breed of authoritarian states that are on borrowed time. It is not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when’ the Kim regime falls and at what cost. Only when their regime collapses and the full atrocities of North Korea are seen, will people realize they should not be so quick to give this family any sort of praise.

Photo Taken from bostonherald.com.