- The cheerful and poised appearance of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, at the Winter Olympis sparked comparisons to President Trump’s daughter and advisor, Ivanka Trump.
- The two women have superficial similarities, acting publicly as foils to family members.
- However, Kim is the head of propaganda for a brutal authoritarian regime that has executed and imprisoned hundreds of thousands of North Koreans.
Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, quickly became a media obsession during her three-day stint at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.
Kim made headlines with her cheerful and reserved attitude, a calculated foil to her brother’s militaristic presence. Commentators drew comparisons between Kim and Ivanka Trump — another influential woman deployed to soften public perception of a nation’s leader.
Kim’s appearance at the Olympics “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,” North Korean expert Balbina Hwang told CNN.
Backlash quickly emerged to what many saw as overly positive media coverage of Kim. Critics felt that comparisons to Ivanka Trump ignored Kim’s role in running what Human Rights Watch calls “one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world,” where dissenters often face death or multi-generational prison sentences.
Here’s how Ivanka Trump and Kim Yo Jong actually match up.
“Kim Yo Jong kept smiling, and she seemed nice,” Lee Ryoon-ryong, a 25-year-old who attended the Korean women’s ice hockey match at the Olympics, told The Washington Post. “I was surprised because she looked different from the image I had about North Koreans.”
Source: The Washington Post