CNN created a furor with their coverage of Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister, at the Olympics. Many people called them out for appearing to fawn all over her, along with other media from ABC, NBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times.
Here’s a sample:
The “warm message” was “Pyongyang and Seoul get closer in our people’s hearts and move forward the future of prosperous unification.” Which sounds fine, until you realize that ‘unification’ means that North Korea has taken over and eliminated South Korea.
But if you thought that was bad enough, they managed to top themselves with a story they ran on Monday.
Titled “Pence’s Olympic trip a ‘missed opportunity’ for North Korea diplomacy, source says,” it ran a whole story criticizing Vice President Mike Pence for not talking with the North Koreans while he was in South Korea leading the Olympic delegation.
Pence had bilateral talks with the South Koreans about holding a tough line against North Korea. He described it to the Washington Post as employing “maximum pressure and engagement at the same time.”
“The point is, no pressure comes off until they are actually doing something that the alliance believes represents a meaningful step toward denuclearization,” Pence said. “So the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue and intensify. But if you want to talk, we’ll talk.”
He also met with North Korean defectors. Accompanying him was the father of Fred Warmbier, the father of Otto Warmbier, the American student who died at the hands of the North Koreans.
But he didn’t hold any talks with the North Koreans. He did not shake hands with Kim Yo Jong or stand when the unified Korean team marched into the stadium during the opening ceremonies.
Most people would understand that that’s part of the ‘tough line’ being held against the North Koreans, the most oppressive country on Earth, who has threatened to nuke us and our allies in the region.
But not CNN, apparently.
Their whole story attacking Pence reads a lot like a North Korean press release. That’s because effectively it is, the whole story is based on one source, a “senior diplomatic source close to North Korea” who CNN does not identify. Why is CNN protecting and not identifying a North Korean source? Relying only on him, without criticism or correction?
The senior diplomatic source said Pence “degraded the image of the United States as a superpower” by meeting with North Korean defectors along with Otto Warmbier’s father, and by speaking strongly against North Korea on multiple occasions.
Fred Warmbier accompanied Pence during his visit to South Korea. His son Otto was jailed in North Korea and died upon his return to the US last year after suffering extensive brain damage.
So being there with the father of the man your country killed is ‘degrading’ to the United States? And notice how CNN describes Warmbier’s death but doesn’t actually point the finger specifically at North Korea.
The source also described as “undignified behavior” Pence’s decision to stay seated and to not applaud the unified Korean team at the opening ceremony, adding that the Vice President “took the low road instead of acting like a big brother.”
During the ceremony, Pence sat just feet away from Kim Yo Jong and looked stony faced as President Moon twice shook hands with her.
Even a small gesture of respect, the source said, could have led to a diplomatic opening between North Korea and the US that would have helped to increase trust between the two countries. Instead, Pence was criticized by North Korean media, accused of not respecting the “Olympic spirit.”
Gee, why would he not want to shake hands with the representative of the country who killed Otto Warmbier? Who runs the most oppressive country on Earth? Why would he want to essentially normalize them by doing so? Let’s just forget that Kim’s sister is the head of their Agitprop, their Joseph Goebbels if you will, who is even on the State Department list of people whom Americans are forbidden to do business with because of human rights abuses.
And speaking of who’s violating the Olympic spirit. Let’s also mention that the North Korean athletes are not bunking with the other athletes and not allowed to interact with them in the normal Olympic way, let alone talk to the media because North Korea wouldn’t allow it. And they can’t go anywhere without minders watching them to make sure they don’t defect.
The source added, however, that North Korea could still be willing to work with the United States on a “comprehensive and integrated agreement,” under the right conditions — adding “denuclearization could mean many things,” including an agreement to suspend missile and nuclear tests in exchange for limited recognition or acceptance of its nuclear status.
South Koreans say the problem isn’t talking with the North Koreans, that they’ve talked over the years. The problem is that the North Koreans lie and don’t come across with any real change. And this paragraph is just another example of that. “Denuclearization” doesn’t mean to them what it means to anybody else.
H/T Lachlan Markay
[Note: This post was written by Nick Arama]