With help from a compliant media, North Korea successfully politicized the Olympic Winter Games despite its horrific record of human rights abuses.
David Curry of Open Doors USA says there is a reason North Korea is ranked number on the World Watch List as the worst country to be a Christian, which is no small feat in a world of dictators and despots.
"I don't want people to be diverted by this P.R. campaign at the Olympics," says Curry, "where they're trying to politicize the games to their advantage."
Much of the national media, however, never got that warning or else ignored it. The media, in fact, gave glowing press coverage to Kim Yo Jong, the sister of dictator Kim Jon Un and the regime's deputy director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department.
"Kim Jong Un's sister is stealing the show at the Winter Olympics," proclaimed a Feb. 10 headline at CNN.
The story described Jong as North Korea's equivalent to Ivanka Trump and suggested she had "struck a chord" with the public.
The fawning coverage earned a commentary by Ben Shapiro, who called out The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other media outlets, for "gushing" descriptions of the regime leader. He blasted the media for their suspected attempt to use her to mock Vice President Mike Pence.
After the media fawned over the propaganda director, British newspaper The Sun pointed out that North Korea has been punishing its failed athletes since the 1960s, when a World Cup soccer team was sent to a labor camp and tortured after losing to Portugal 5-3.
North Korea's most recent athletes will likely be punished, too, for failing to win gold.
Curry says there are an estimated 60,000 Christian believers who are working and starving in North Korea's labor camps, and they're the ones who managed to live when caught with a Bible by a neighbor who turned them in.
"Some are executed on the spot," he says. "This is the news that North Korea tells us. This isn't even the stuff that they're hiding."