The Daily Edit

The Dailey Edit (Part Deux): Fox News article about US-North Korea summit

This one will be quick. I was catching up on the news when I saw a Fox News article mentioning that that (told you we all make errors - left that that that in as a case in point) Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong traveled separately to Singapore. This article caught my eye because I'd been wondering how much concern or speculation there has been about possible coup attempts in North Korea during the summit.

In the past, I think kings, queens, and emperors were wary of being away from the capital too long. That's one reason I enjoyed reading a biography about Hadrian, the Roman emperor. (I think it was written by Anthony Everitt.) Hadrian liked to travel. Dude got around. No email, no secure command center, no military escort or airplanes. He had to have a lot of faith in the people he left in charge to run things. My guess is that Kim Jong Un hasn't got that level of trust in the people he's left behind to steer the ship of state.

All of which led me to wonder whether his sister is there because he wants her advice, or because he doesn't want her to get any wild notions about becoming the first female ruler of North Korea. I'd also be curious to know whether the families of the officials in the best position to launch a coup are enjoying a government-funded holiday at an undisclosed location. I know, it sounds pretty conspiratorial. But North Korean regime officials have a way of meeting gruesome ends.

On to The Daily Edit (Part Two.) The Fox News article is titled "Kim Jong Un's sister arrives in Singapore in separate plane from North Korean leader". It was written by Katherine Lam.

"Kim’s sister gained notoriety during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea in February, where she met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. She reportedly gave birth to her second child in May, though no further details were released, Chosun Ilbo reported."

- Minor point, but I usually associate notoriety with being famous for something negative or bad. So, in general, the North Korean leaders don't seem like they can gain much more in the way of notoriety. I thought the issue that a lot of people had with Kim Yo Jong's Winter Olympics appearance was that it seemingly improved her image. The critics of this positive reception pointed out the terrible conditions that the North Korean people endured under her and her brother's leadership.

Two other aircrafts, one carrying several “essential” items for Kim such as a bullet-proof limousine and portable toilet, also departed within the same hour as the one carrying Kim.

- I think aircraft is singular and plural, so no need for the s ending.

- The quotes around "essential" are confusing. Do they mean that someone is being quoted, or are they meant to clarify or qualify the items listed. If the latter, I'd argue the quotes don't help. Scratch essential or the quotes.

The despot took a break from official government business on Monday to take a mini tour with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, his sister and other top deputies.

- I'm curious how people feel about the word despot in this article. I think Kim Jong Un qualifies for the title. However, in this article, I might stick with fairly clinical labels / official titles. Let the reader determine what kind of leader Kim Jong Un is, especially if you're not going to provide additional context for the term. Again, not sure about that one. If you've got any thoughts, please comment below.

- Other top deputies. I used to deal with this a lot at my old job. People were very fond of writing things like "and other key leaders" or "a senior official". The labels sound like they provide valuable information, but I've always been skeptical. Top, key, or senior according to whom? Does this make them more authoritative? At a meeting like this it seems like we can presume that any deputies, subordinates, or underlings are going to be important. I'd just write others or deputies. But that could just be me trying to nuke every unnecessary word I can. Sorry, poor choice of words.