Sister of North Korean Leader to Come to South for Olympics

(From AP News)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, an increasingly prominent figure in the country’s leadership, will be part of the North’s delegation to the South Korean Winter Olympics, officials said Wednesday.

Kim Yo Jong, believed to be around 30, will be the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit South Korea since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. Analysts say her inclusion in the Olympic delegation shows North Korea’s ambition to use the Olympics to break out from diplomatic isolation by improving relations with the South, which it could use as a bridge for approaching the United States.

By sending a youthful, photogenic person who will undoubtedly attract international attention during the Olympics, North Korea is also trying to construct a fresher and warmer public image and defuse potential U.S. efforts to use the Pyeongchang Games to highlight the North’s brutal human rights record, experts say.

Kim Jong Un might also have seen that U.S. President Donald Trump was sending his daughter, Ivanka, to the Olympics ceremony and decided to match the move by sending his sister, said Hong Min, an analyst at Seoul’s Korea Institute for National Unification.

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