Proving yet again that our sports and entertainment are not safe from political interference, Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-Jong has been at the center of media coverage since the games kicked off Friday evening. The Olympic Games have provided a look at North Korea and their leaders that we have not seen before. With this comes the task of truthfully covering a regime that is responsible for the murder and starvation of their own citizens. For some journalists, this has proved to be too difficult as the media has both glamorized and humanized Kim Kim Yo-Jong, one of the closest individuals to the Supreme Leader of North Korea.

CNN published an article on Saturday afternoon titled, “Kim Jong Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.” While the avoidance of covering the appearance of Kim Yo-Jong at the Winter Olympics is simply not feasible, the article went beyond coverage and took the chance to make a member of a murderous regime look less daunting than she actually is. To begin with, the phrase “stealing the show” in the article’s title suggests someone doing something that should put them in the spotlight. Should we really be giving a Dictator’s sister the attention we know they want?

The article begins with describing Kim’s “smile, handshake,” and “warm message in South Korea’s presidential guest book.” The word “smile” suggests a happy and friendly individual, not a leader in a regime where 41% of the population is undernourished. Further, the idea of a “warm message” does not indicate the sister and one of the closest individuals to the leader of a nation that starves his people to pay for nuclear weapons and runs gulags that are said to be “as terrible, or worse, than Nazi camps.” Humanizing any member of this regime and presenting them to be a courteous person is erasing the crimes they have committed against their people and our own.

One of the most striking sections of the article is headed “North Korea’s Ivanka Trump,” comparing the dictator’s sister to President Donald Trump’s daughter. The first issue of this analogy lies in the fact that Donald Trump is a democratically elected leader, not a Dictator. To say that a dictator’s informant is similar to Ivanka Trump is simply irresponsible and untrue. The second and most hypocritical aspect of the comparison is the fact that the media has long critiqued Ivanka for having a role in the Trump administration but is now highlighting how Kim Yo-Jong is “a signal that North Korea is not this crazy, weird former Cold War state—but it too has young women that are capable and are the future leadership.” It is quite bold to assert that North Korea is the future for women’s leadership when their own prison guards are accused of “physically and sexually abusing female prisoners.”

The PyeonChang Winter Olympic Games have brought North Korea and it’s leaders to stage in a way we have not seen before. With this, the media has provided a dishonest look into the country and the way it’s leaders treat their citizens. We must not forget the crimes North Korea commits daily against their people and the easiest way to do this is humanize or glamorize the very people responsible for their suffering.

Alana B
FFL Contributor
Alana is an undergraduate student at Washington State University studying communications. She aspires to work in either journalism or communications and aims to empower young women to feel confident in sharing their political views. Her favorite things include Jesus, capitalism, politics, yoga, and traveling.

Read more articles