A brutal account of the execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle by a pack of starved dogs made a splash in international media last week, but appears to be too outlandish to be true.
Reuters reported Monday that the account apparently has its roots in a satirical post on a Twitter-like Chinese website.
Jang Song Thaek, considered his nephew’s mentor, was accused of trying to overthrow the state and sentenced to death last month. The state released few details about the purge, or how Jang was executed.
Then Chinese newspaper Wen Wei Po reported that Jang and five other aides were eaten alive by a pack of 120 starved dogs. That account was picked up by a Singapore-based news outlet and subsequently spread across international media.
The original article in Wen Wei Po, however, supported its account with a screenshot of a post on microblogging site Tencent Weibo, according to Reuters.
A Chicago man highlighted the Weibo post on his own blog, commenting that the media was “missing the obvious fact that the original source of the Wen Wei Po story was a tweet from a known satirist or someone posing as him/her.”
So Dennis Rodman can rest easy knowing that if he and his team of ex-NBA All-Stars trounce the North Korean basketball team when they face off on Kim’s birthday, there won’t likely be terrible repercussions.