Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, will attend the Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, becoming the first member of the dynasty to step foot in South Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is sending his younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, to the Winter Olympics in South Korea as part of the North’s official delegation. What that means for the isolated country: https://t.co/M9J6bmbrpv pic.twitter.com/noaUX9GZtw
— CBS News (@CBSNews) February 7, 2018
She will attend as representative of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, and reportedly might bring a message from her brother for South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Kim Yo Jong is believed to be about 30 years old. She and Kim Jong Un were born to the same mother.
Some have speculated that Kim Yo Jong is being sent as part of the North Korean delegation in order to present a “warmer” image of North Korea.
Also, President Donald Trump is sending his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to the Closing Ceremonies, and experts think Kim Jong Un wants to be seen as “equal” to Trump in this regard.
The Olympics have put the relationships of the U.S., South Korea and North Korea into international spotlight.
While at face value, Kim Yo Jong’s appearance at the Games might seem like a sign of good will, it is also a distraction from the actual event and a deterrent to what has taken place between North Korea and other countries in the past year leading up to this point.
Despite the positive appearance, North Korea is expected to use the Olympics as a distraction from greater issues such as its nuclear weapons arsenal – these are so-called “charm offensives.” Historically, after such actions, North Korea often becomes aggressive and will act on that.
The Winter Olympics opening ceremony is Friday, Feb. 9, and the closing ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 25.
There has been much attention given to this year’s Winter Olympics, as the event takes place on the Korean Peninsula amid ever-growing tensions between the United States and North Korea.
North Korea recently announced it would send athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea. It will also be sending a 230-person cheering squad.
On Jan. 3, North Korea reopened a once dormant telephone hotline that links directly to South Korea, and the two countries spoke for 20 minutes, this in advance of the historic North-South Korean meeting that took place – it was the first time negotiators met in two years.
Both North Korea and South Korea planned to re-open a second military hotline on the Korean peninsula. The red and green phone system is one of 33 direct lines that the two countries once used to communicate. The particular hotline that was reopened is located in the “truce village” of Panmunjom in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas.
On Jan. 4, following the opening of the hotline, President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to delay scheduled joint military exercises during the Winter Olympics.
On Jan. 9, North Korea agreed to send athletes to the Winter Olympics. Earlier that day, South Korea had said it would temporarily lift sanctions on North Korea so that they could participate in the Olympic Games. South Korea also proposed at that time that North Korean athletes should march with South Korean athletes during the Winter Olympics’ Opening and Closing ceremonies.
North Korea’s delegation to the Olympics in South Korea will include athletes, a cheering squad, a performance-art troupe, observers, a taekwondo demonstration team and journalists, according to a statement from South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung.