North Korea’s Kim Yo Jong and Ivanka Trump have common in 2 Things


As the Winter Olympics kicked off in PyeongChang, South Korea, this weekend, the media turned their attention to one notable nonathlete attendee: Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean Supreme Leader — and frequent target of President Trump’s Twitter attacks — Kim Jong Un.

Kim Yo Jong.

Kim Yo Jong is believed to be between 28  and 30 years old and is the youngest of former Supreme Leader’s Kim Jong Il’s three children with mistress Ko Yong Hui. (Kim Jong Il also had a son and a daughter from separate, previous relationships before beginning his relationship with Ko Yong Hui.) And Kim Yo Jong was recently appointed to an official state job within the ruling Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee — for all intents and purposes the propaganda arm of the North Korean regime. Her increased public presence, many say, is a concerted strategy on the part of the North Korean government to “soften” Kim Jong Un’s image with Eastern and Western audiences alike.

Kim Yo Jong.

Many media outlets seemed to take the hypothetical bait.

And just as quickly, others in the American press took the response to Kim Yo Jong one step further, comparing any positive reviews — largely based on her style and appearance — to that of America’s first daughter, Ivanka Trump. Like Kim Yo Jong, Ivanka has long maintained seemingly separate interests than her political father. And like Kim Yo Jong, Ivanka has also assumed an official position her family’s respective administration.

But according to a searing piece in the Washington Post, the similarities don’t end there. Both Kim Yo Jong and Ivanka Trump, they argue, are readily positioned by their families to offer a smiling, conventionally beautiful, and glamorous veneer to cover up more damaging and dangerous political agendas. That is, the supreme leader’s sister and president’s daughter are connected through a common bond of utilizing style to mask, and encourage further, complicity.

Ivanka Trump.

And while other members of the press have, in turn, lashed out at such comparisons, saying they undermine the known human rights abuses committed by the North Korean government by comparing them to the policies of the Trump administration, the larger question still remains as to whether there should even be a dialogue comparing the two women in general — and if it would be happening if the two public figures in question were both men.

I can report South Koreans here in Pyeongchang are not as enthralled with Kim Yo Jong and the North Korean cheerleaders as it seems some media are back home.

Ivanka Trump.

Something about N.K. killing, starving, & imprisoning its people while threatening South Korea with nuclear annihilation.

— Willie Geist (@WillieGeist) February 11, 2018

My theory behind Kim Yo Jong-Gate is that many of us in the West can no longer comprehend the depravity of a regime like North Korea. We spend so much time calling minuscule things Hitler-like, we’ve forgotten how to process true evil.

— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) February 12, 2018

“The comparisons between Kim Yo Jong and Ivanka Trump have everything to do with gender, their relationships to powerful men, and how they look,” Laura Castañeda, a former journalist and a professor of professional practice at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in Los Angeles, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I doubt that if either were male, these types of stories would be covered.”

Castañeda points out that the way both women posit.