Kim Jong ‘Um’ Crosses Borders at the Winter Olympics

Have You Heard?

The arrival of Kim Jong “Um” at the Winter Olympics has been called a masterstroke for political satire at one of the world’s biggest events on one of the world’s biggest stages.

Spotted at the opening ceremony and later with the Korean hockey team, Kim Jong “Um” caused just enough excitement inside the Olympic Park to have himself arrested by the authorities (and later released) but enough media comment to secure himself a spot on the 2018 Winter Olympics most-talked-about list.

The Kim Jong “Um” impersonation was an inspired move by an Australian stand-up comedian who is otherwise known as “Howard.” Everything about the persona was spot on — the dumpy figure, the high-fade haircut, and even the smile. As he said in his own words, he did it to “remind people that North Korea is here” in an event where the country’s political presence has been limited to the appearance of the real Kim Jong-Un’s own sister.

While it remains to be seen how the event organisers feel about Howard’s alter ego seizing some of the limelight in Pyeongchang, his antics have implications for all events. Has your event ever been targeted by those intent on making a political statement? How did you handle it? Join the discussion in Catalyst.

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