Kim Jong-un’s decision to send his sister Kim Yo-jong and a 200-strong cheerleading squad to the Winter Olympics has been seized upon by some as a sign of North Korea coming in from the cold to seek peace and even reunification. But are there really grounds for such optimism?
After so many years of brandishing its guns, North Korea sent roses to the Winter Olympics. A cheer squad of 230 beauties in the bloom of youth, and Kim Jong-un’s almost equally fresh-faced sister Kim Yo-jong, have mesmerised watchers in the host country South Korea and further afield. Their petite stature and beguiling smiles are in deliberate contrast to the North’s usual macho bluster and missile tests. The two Koreas even entered the opening ceremony together and fielded a unified women’s ice hockey team.