The South Korean use of the Pyeongchang Olympics to improve relations with the North has left the U.S. media torn between a natural curiosity about the first North Koreans they have seen up close and a compunction against “normalizing” the Kim regime.

U.S. audiences are treated, on the one hand, to takes marveling at the exotic cheering squad and the no-frills personal style of Kim Yo Jong, and on the other hand, to strong expressions of disgust at the “fawning” represented by those takes. Some cheered the starry-eyed optimism of Angela Ruggiero, the former U.S. hockey player and member of the International Olympic Committee, who has suggested the joint Korean hockey team for the Nobel Peace Prize; others found the idea offensive.

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