Growing up, I was fas­ci­nated with the idea of North Korea. I watched doc­u­mentary after doc­u­mentary, trying to wrap my mind around a place so unlike my own home — a place without freedom, edu­cation, or oppor­tunity.

Watching one of these doc­u­men­taries, I lis­tened to the story of a girl who had escaped the total­i­tarian regime, who later wrote a book about it called “In Order to Live.” Yeonmi Park described the horrors she faced growing up: star­vation, indoc­tri­nation, and dehu­man­ization. She said that in North Korea, cit­izens are taught to hate enemies of the state, espe­cially Amer­icans.

“Our schools and text­books were full of images of grotesque American GIs with blue eyes and huge noses exe­cuting civilians. Some­times at recess we lined up to beat or stab dummies dressed like American sol­diers,” Park recalled.

And shock­ingly enough, it was this bru­tality and pro­pa­ganda the American media cel­e­brated this week.

A few weeks before the Winter Olympics were set to take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Kim Jong-Un announced that his sister, Kim Yo-Jong, would travel to South Korea to rep­resent his regime at the games. It was a his­toric moment: This was the first time a member of North Korea’s ruling family had stepped foot in South Korea since the start of the Korean War.

But instead of treating her with the pre­caution and seri­ousness that North Korea’s repressive, inhumane society demands, the media showered Kim Yo-Jong with attention and praise, taking more than a few shots at the Trump admin­is­tration along the way.

A CNN headline blared: “Kim Jong-Un’s sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics.” This story began by describing Kim Yo-Jong’s diplo­matic per­for­mance as gold medal-worthy: “With a smile, a hand­shake and a warm message in South Korea’s pres­i­dential guest book, Kim Yo-Jong has struck a chord with the public just one day into the PyeongChang Games.”

Judging from this, acting politely with a smile on one’s face is a mind-blowing, unprece­dented diplo­matic tactic. Who would’ve guessed? But con­sid­ering Kim Jong-Un’s typical diplo­matic rela­tions consist of nuclear threats and fre­quent missile launches, maybe CNN is right.

The media briefly aban­doned its fix­ation with the way Kim Yo-Jong “effort­lessly” shook hands to attack Mike Pence (but only after making sure we knew North Korea’s diplo­matic head of state was really rocking that wine-colored jacket and black pants). There was no shortage of crit­icism for Pence’s decision not to acknowledge Kim Yo-Jong or stand when the “unified” Korean team walked in the opening parade.

A New York Times reporter wrote: “Kim Jong-Un’s sister turns on the charm, taking Pence’s spot­light.” Her “sphinx-like smile” and “no-non­sense hair­style and dress, her low-key makeup, and the sprinkle of freckles on her cheeks” appar­ently sym­bolized a desire for peace and rec­on­cil­i­ation. Pence, on the other hand, has wrinkles instead of freckles and a sense of morality instead of an insane desire for dom­i­nation.

The media was so appalled with Pence’s “hor­rific,” “atro­cious,” “dis­re­spectful” — you name it — behavior that they seemed to have for­gotten the 18 million North Koreans dying of star­vation, a well-known fact thanks to a 2017 United Nations report. They over­looked the stories of sur­vivors like Park, who had been so indoc­tri­nated that she believed her life was “worth less than an animal’s.”

The New York Times and CNN’s “political princess” is a living man­i­fes­tation of that reality. Kim Jong-Un didn’t send her to South Korea to make peace or to express a desire for rec­on­cil­i­ation. I suspect he knew exactly what he was doing — hiding the ugly truth about the world’s most brutal regime behind a put-together, pretty figure who could make Amer­icans forget, with a smile and hand­shake, that North Korea will never end its oppression.

Pence was right to ignore Kim Yo-Jong. She was nothing more than a North Korean prop, and America owes her nothing. Her total­i­tarian regime does not deserve recog­nition. A state bent on destroying America should not receive attention.

David Meeks wrote in USA Today that Pence “embar­rassed America.” He said: “America should always strive to set an example for others. Some­times that means rising above pet­tiness, taking the high road of proper respect over mean-spirited grand­standing.”

Yes, Meeks, we should set an example for others: We should encourage other nations not to cater to a regime ded­i­cated to destroying freedom and anyone who dares to pursue it. And that’s exactly what Pence did.

Just thinking out loud here, but aren’t North Korea’s grotesque crimes against humanity more important than how many freckles Kim Yo-Jong has on her left cheek? Reading their cov­erage, I’m assuming CNN, the Times, and a host of others are leaning toward the latter.

And the saddest part is that these outlets allowed them­selves to be used by Kim Jong-Un, pro­moting his dic­ta­torship by praising its cer­e­monial head. They were props and tools used by the North Korean regime, dancing right alongside Kim Yo-Jong as Kim Jong-Un expertly pulled the strings. So, a word of advice for those tempted to do the same: Please — for the love of all that’s good — shut up.


Kaylee McGhee is a junior studying pol­itics.

  • Donald Turner

    Kim Jo-Yong, Kim Jong-Un’s sister, isn’t the cer­e­monial head; Kim Yong-Nam, the nona­ge­narian who was seated next to her during the Opening Cer­e­monies, is.

  • Alexan­derYp­si­lantis

    The MSM trying to elevate this tin-plated dictatator’s sister to some sort of icon only demon­strates once again their ethical emptiness. The NYT has reached rock-bottom, I wouldn’t buy that news­paper to line my birds cage-I have more respect for my bird than to subject him to that sopho­moric rag.