November 17, 2018

BY REBECCA SOARES

We all have our bad moments but perhaps media outlets on the weekend of Feb. 10 went too far.

The Winter Olympics began on Feb. 9 and North and South Korea participated under a “united Korea flag” for the opening ceremony and during the competition. North Korea sent Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader, to represent that country during the games.

Multiple media sources have become infatuated with her. The Washington Post wrote an article titled “The ‘Ivanka Trump of North Korea’ captivates,” CNN wrote “She’s stealing the show!” and The New York Times wrote “She turns on the charm!” It doesn’t end there.

But how exactly did this infatuation begin? Although Kim Yo Jong was sitting near U.S. Vice-president Mike Pence at the Winter Olympics, they did not communicate. However, Jong was seen glancing at Pence, which individuals termed “the side-eye.” For those who don’t know, the “side-eye” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “a facial expression expressing one’s criticism, disapproval, animosity or scorn of varying levels of intensity towards another person.” Due to this alleged “side-eye,” many individuals have been calling her relatable and have become fans of hers which in turn helped the media adore her. That needs to end immediately.

What does this infatuation say about the world’s dignity? Simple. It says that we are willing to forget that North Korea is one of the most brutal regimes because a political member is relatable.
In 2013, there was a South Korean report which stated that between the years 2000 and 2013, 1,400 citizens were publicly executed to keep residents in line. North Korea is also known to strip citizens of their few rights and freedoms as a form of discipline. Let’s not forget that Kim Yo Jong is also from the country that threatened war against the U.S., which is a major influence and ally of Canada’s. While it can be argued those are her brother’s actions and not her own, she is believed to be a major part of her brother’s regime.

We value our freedom and our rights but yet there we are fawning over someone who is part of a repressive regime. If our beliefs can truly crumble so quickly because of a facade, that makes us weak. In the future, the media needs to step up and stop falling for a smile because their influence affects many people.

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