Kim Yo Jong, the sister of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, made some highly anticipated, heavily publicized appearances during the Olympic opening ceremonies in Pyeongchang.
But one video from an Olympic event that surfaced on social media shortly before noon local time showed a particularly striking visual: a clapping, smiling US Vice President Mike Pence, with a decidedly muted Kim Yo Jong, standing behind him, and throwing a look to the camera.
Watch the moment here:
Kim Yo Jong when the Americans walk in pic.twitter.com/pVfY4C2dTp
— Stef W. Kight (@StefWKight) February 10, 2018
Much ado was made about the close physical proximity between Pence and his wife, Karen, and Kim Yo Jong, though the three never publicly spoke. Before travelling to the region earlier this week, Pence said the goal was to bolster ties with South Korean and Japanese leaders while isolating the North.
It was evident from the multiple pictures emerging from the event that Pence indeed made no discernible effort to acknowledge or engage with the North Korean delegation. But the move seemed to fall flat, as The Japan Times tells it.
The publication pointed to the images and video of joyful North and South Korean and Japanese delegates, and athletes, expressing their most overt displays of unity in years:
“The North was still welcomed with open arms to what South Korean President Moon Jae-in called ‘Olympic games of peace,'” the publication said, “and the U.S. appeared to be the one left out in the cold.”
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