Kim Jong Uns Ivanka set for Winter Olympics visit with North Korean delegation

A female member of North Korea’s ruling dynasty who’s dubbed “Kim Jong Un’s Ivanka” is heading to South Korea with the Hermit Kingdom’s Olympic delegation, a trip that makes Kim Yo Jong the first member of the current Kim clan to set foot in the rival nation.

As Kim Jong Un’s sister and a vice director with the ruling political party, Kim Yo Jong is seen by some in the South Korean media as a moderating force on her more impulsive brother, much the way Ivanka Trump is seen by some U.S. pundits as a moderate influence on her father, President Trump. Kim will be part of the delegation led by the country’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong Nam, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.

Experts believe the despot’s sister will represent Kim Jong Un’s views directly to Seoul because of her close relationship to her brother, Yonhap News Agency reported.

North Korea said the delegation would also include Choe Hwi, chairman of the country’s National Sports Guidance Committee, and Ri Son Gwon, chairman of the North’s agency that deals with inter-Korean affairs. Seoul has previously said the delegation will arrive Wednesday.

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attends an opening ceremony of a newly constructed residential complex in Ryomyong street in Pyongyang, North Korea April 13, 2017. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RC1C49A18B60

Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, attends the opening ceremony of a residential complex.  (Reuters)


Kim Yo Jong, who is believed to be in her late 20s or early 30s, was promoted by her brother to be an alternate member of the decision-making political bureau of the ruling Workers’ Party’s central committee. She is believed to be the despot’s closest confidant.

“One of the positives of her visit is that she is someone able to deliver a direct message on behalf of Kim Jong Un” Shin Beom-chul, a professor at the Korean National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul, told Reuters. “What is problematic is that she’s coming with Choe Hwi. This raises worries that North Korea likely intends to use this Olympics as a propaganda tool rather than a possible opening to meaningful dialogue with South Korea”.

FILE - This 2015, file photo provided by the North Korean government shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his sister Kim Yo Jong, left, during their visit to a military unit in North Korea. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said North Korea informed Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, that Kim Yo Jong would be part of the high-level delegation coming to the South for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this image distributed by the North Korean government. The content of this image is as provided and cannot be independently verified. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP, File)

Kim Jong Un and his sister, Kim Yo Jong, have a closer relationship than Kim has with his other siblings.  (KCNA via KNS)

The Koreas are cooperating for a series of conciliatory measures during the Olympics. Seoul sees the moves as a chance to ease the tensions with their rivals to the North and possibly rein in Kim Jong Un’s nuclear and missile programs. Skeptics, however, believe the North is trying to use the Olympics as a chance to weaken western-backed sanctions against the regime.

North Korea has 22 athletes competing in the Winter Olympics but also has sent artists and a cheering squad.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ryan Gaydos is an editor for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @RyanGaydos.

Categories: World News

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