At Root of Dogs-Ate-Uncle Claim: Joking Tweet?

Satirist was likely source of Kim Jong Un rumors, blogger argues
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 6, 2014 7:32 AM CST
At Root of Dogs-Ate-Uncle Claim: Joking Tweet?
In this Feb. 16, 2012 file photo, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek, left.   (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)

Amid the debate over whether Kim Jong Un truly did feed his uncle to starving dogs comes this tidbit: a tweet penned by a satirist may be the "source" of the story. Reuters reports this chain of events: On Dec. 11, a post making such a claim appeared on Chinese microblogging site Tencent Weibo; the next day, newspaper Wen Wei Po published the story, using a screenshot of the post to back up its report; 12 days later, the Straits Times reported it, and then it hit Western media.

Blogger Trevor Powell digs into things even more, noting the tweet was posted under the username "choiseongho000"—meaning it could have been written by China-based online satirist Pyongyang Choi Seongho, or it could very likely be "a copycat account mooching off Pyongyang Choi Seongho's good name," writes Powell. Further, Wen Wei Po quoted the tweet word-for-word, and named Pyongyang Choi Seongho as its source, Powell explains. He thinks it's "amusing" the media didn't fact-check more carefully, but notes a "a linguistic wall" may be to blame—the Straits Times report is in English, the Wen Wei Po report is not. (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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