The internet can be a wonderful place, but it can also be a dangerous one too. Sometimes what appears to be a hilarious meme is a reflection of something much more disturbing, so you might want to think twice before you praise the web’s latest shade queen, Kim Jong-Un’s sister.
Thirty-year-old Kim Yo-jong was seated behind American Vice President Mike Pence at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games, something which was supposed to represent an attempt to improve relations between the US and the secretive communist state.
Needless to say, President Trump has made his feelings about her brother Kim Jong-Un clear, and Pence’s actions were very much a reflection of that. Although the pair were seated close each other, he refused to make eye contact with the 30-year-old or acknowledge her in any way.
However, while Pence was cheering during the ceremony, Yo-jong briefly looked at him – a look which has been dubbed her “deadly side-eye.”
Some left-wing people on the internet thought that her glance was incredibly relatable, especially as it appeared to be directed at the Trump administration and, without giving a second thought to the regime she represents, began to hail her as a “shade queen”.
CNN went as far as to claim that she was “stealing the show” at the opening ceremony.
The Washington Post went on to describe her as the “Ivanka Trump of North Korea.”
Some members of the left even interpreted Yo-jong’s side-eye as a sign that she wanted to defect from her brother’s oppressive regime.
While Twitter is often a great platform for public opinions to be voiced, this is one area where people clearly need to brush up on their knowledge before deciding to jump on the bandwagon to praise Yo-jong for many things, such as her job, and that’s just for starters.
Thankfully, some media outlets have been quick to condemn members of the left for praising Yo-jong:
To begin with, there is no way that Yo-jong wishes to defect. She is widely thought to work in North Korea’s “Propaganda and Agitation Department”, and its propaganda promotes a number of problematic ideals – including absolute devotion to the state.
In fact, North Korea even promoted a “romantic” story where a man refused to date a woman until he discovered she was a volunteer at one of the state’s potato farms. And you thought that people on Tinder were judgemental. Yikes.
The 30-year-old is also a member of the politburo of North Korea’s all-powerful Workers’ Party. This means that she has a huge say in the country’s problematic policies.
She is so powerful that she’s the only member of the ruling family who is allowed to appear on camera alongside Jong-un, the New York Times reported.
It’s easy to assume that life for the ruling family is better than it is for most other North Koreans, but Jong-un is widely believed to have ordered the assassination of their own half-brother, Kim Jong Nam.
The 45-year-old had been an open opponent to the regime who was living in exile, but that didn’t stop the North Korean state assassinating him in a chemical attack last year.
So it will also come as no surprise that North Korea frequently executes its own citizens too. In 2015 alone, 1,500 citizens were executed so that the population could be kept “in line”.
A South Korean newspaper even reported in 2013 that North Korean citizens were forced to watch public executions by firing squads in stadiums.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, North Korea also enslaves its own citizens, sending them abroad to work and forcing them into sending a large portion of their earnings back to the communist state.
According to Amnesty International, more than 50,000 North Koreans have been sent to countries including Angola, China, Kuwait, Qatar, and Russia.
“Most workers were deprived of information about international or domestic labor laws and often lacked access in the host countries to any government agencies and other organizations monitoring compliance with or offering assistance in claiming labor rights,” the human rights group revealed.
If it wasn’t already obvious enough from the above information, the North Korean regime basically strips its citizens of their basic human rights. They are not allowed to freely express themselves, move around, and, naturally, there is no freedom of information there too.
“North Koreans are not only deprived of the chance to learn about the world outside, they are suppressed from telling the world about their almost complete denial of human rights,” Arnold Fang, Amnesty’s East Asia researcher, said.
Yo Jong’s family also operate gulags – which, for anyone unfamiliar with the term, are forced labor camps. A United Nations inspector said in 2013 that “unspeakable atrocities” took place within them.
One of the most harrowing stories to emerge from a North Korean gulag was that a mother was forced to drown her own baby in a bucket.
North Korea’s oppressive regime has also been blamed for the untimely death of US student Otto Warmbier. He was accused of stealing a poster from a hostel in 2016 and subsequently sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in prison.
Seventeen months later, by which point he had fallen into a coma, he was finally extradited back to the US and died soon after.
Oh, and while we are on the subject, let’s not forget the fact that North Korea has been threatening the US with nuclear war.
Regardless of your opinion on the Trump administration, it’s nothing short of foolish to praise the North Korean regime for “throwing shade” at it.
So before you fawn over Kim Yo-jong for the dirty look she appeared cast Mike Pence, it’s probably a good idea to stop and think about exactly what it is that she represents – a regime which no self-respecting citizen of the world could condone.