• Kim Yo-jung made the first inter-Korea diplomatic visit for nearly 65 years.
  • Some leading public figures are angered by the media's "whitewash".

CNN has been condemned for its coverage of Kim Yo-jong's visit to the Winter Olympic Games being held this month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Her visit to the Games has been hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough by some commentators and marks the first visit by a North Korean diplomat for over 65 years.

Western media have offered a largely positive view of her trip, which they say could help thaw tense relations on the Korean peninsula.

However, some Twitter users have voiced anger over coverage of her visit, with one commentator accusing news media of a "whitewash."

They allege Kim Yo-jong, now a senior political figure in Pyongyang, is complicit in North Korean regime's human rights abuses.

On Saturday, CNN claimed that Kim Yo-jong was "stealing the show at the Winter Olympics", sparking a major backlash from Twitter users.

It said: "If diplomatic dance were an event at the Winter Olympics, Kim Jong Un's younger sister would be favored to win gold."

Major public figures, including Gary Kasparov and Mike Huckabee, have lined up voice their disapproval over the headline.

Kim Yo-Jong's visit has drawn attention from Donald Trump's administration, especially US Vice President Mike Pence who is also attending the Games. His press secretary Alyssa Farah claimed that the CNN piece "whitewashed" North Korea's appalling human rights record.

"Speaking of stealing, Otto Warmbier was tortured and killed at the hands of the Kim regime after being accused of stealing a poster. Let's not whitewash North Korea's record", she said.

Kim Yo-jong has since returned to North Korea but achieved a major diplomatic coup when she met with Korean President Moon Jae-in on 10 February, delivering him a personally written letter from her brother Kim Jong-un.

Kim Yo-jong's profile has been growing in recent months. The 30-year-old is currently a director at the nation's Propaganda and Agitation department but has also been given an alternating seat on her government's Politburo, only the second woman to be given that honour.

Her elevation is thought to be because of Kim Jong-un's desire to replace the country's older, conservative political establishment who are said to be wary of his leadership.

Kim Yo-jong
Ri Son-kwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, whispers to Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, before their meeting at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, February 10, 2018. Reuters