Here in Japan, television news reports of the Winter Olympics events in Pyeongchang have been comprehensive. Local coverage has been even more thoroughgoing with Kim Yo Jong, the photogenic sister of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, who has moved through a string of photo ops with practiced grace and a mysterious smile that are ratings gold for both Asian and western TV networks, many of which have indulged happily in the panting, vid-loop frenzy that is Kim Yo Jong-mania.
Kim Yo Jong
North Korea also sent a huge cheer squad comprised of adorable, superbly synchronized young women.
North Korean Cheerleaders
North Korean Cheer Squad
Atmospherically at least, all of this, coupled with Kim Yo Jong’s invitation to South Korean president Moon Jae-in to open talks with North Korea, represents an enormous leap away from the frightening precipice characterizing regional relationships not long ago, where the U.S., allied closely with the south, appeared to be champing at the bit to launch air strikes against targets in the north, risking all manner of historic catastrophes.
Probably it would have done so already if not for the certainty of massive South Korean casualties that would have been caused by North Korean retaliation against Seoul, and even with that nightmarish prospect, GOP approval for military invasion cleared 50% (support has also been high amongst LDP members in Japan). Now that North Korea has at least managed, just barely, to create an intercontinental missile which might at some point down the road be upgraded to carry a nuclear payload, the U.S. can claim publicly, with no small measure of exaggeration, that North Korea poses an existential threat or at least could successsfully pull off a nuclear strike against America, so an invasion is justifiable regardless of how many thousands of South Koreans (not to mention Americans living in Seoul) die.
Privately, however, America is quite concerned about having support from South Korea for any action it takes against Kim Jong Un. It would appear that, in sending his composed sister, with her voluptuous cheekbones and “juche me, baby!” eyes, and a gaggle of prancing, red-adorned cheerleaders to the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un has succeeded in visibly offering an olive branch that South Korea is probably grateful to accept.
The credulous viewer would do well to reflect upon Kim Yo-Jong’s position in the North Korean government before going all kumbayaish about the DPRK, however. She is the Director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
A lot of blusterous announcements will soon be heard from the U.S. and probably Trump himself about how the alliance of South Korea and America against their shared enemy has not been weakened, the necessity of such announcements evidencing that it has.
As for Trump himself, the attention-span-challenged leader of the free world must be conflicted by these developments. On the one hand, he has to be furious at having been outsmarted by “Little Rocket Man” Kim Jong Un. On the other hand, he is probably salivating like a hyena at “the pretty Korean lady” on his bedroom TV screen.
What do you think?
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