Did Kim Jong Un feed his uncle to dogs?

 
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds during an official ceremony on April 14, 2012. Who benefits from rumours of Kim Jong Un's barbarism?

It sounds like something out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. Rumours are flying that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and five aides executed by being stripped naked and placed in a cage with 120 attack dogs.

This is all according to Singapore's Straits Times, which quotes a 12 December story in the Chinese government-controlled paper Wen Wei Po.

"The horrifying report vividly depicted the brutality of the young North Korean leader," Ching Cheong writes in the Times. "The fact that it appeared in a Beijing-controlled newspaper showed that China no longer cares about its relations with the Kim regime."

The Telegraph's Tim Stanley cautions that this story is "tempting" - probably too tempting to be true.

"The thing about North Korea is that it's so mad, so gruesome that it's difficult not to believe whatever tall story you hear about it," he writes. "Kim Jong Un ate a baby? The army uses kittens for target practice? Kim Jong Il's reanimated corpse stalks the countryside scaring children? It all seems possible."

He warns that it's important to look at the agendas of the people who are spreading this story:

The Straits Times is a respectable and widely read publication, but it's often been accused of being the mouthpiece of Singapore's ruling party and is staunchly anti-communist - so political bias is possible. Finally, we can't dismiss the possibility that China itself has fabricated or at least encouraged the story to send a message to Pyongyang. Kim's uncle was the architect of closer economic ties between the China and North Korea and there is thought to be a lot of anger about his death.

The Washington Post's Max Fisher writes a five-point takedown of the story that almost - almost - settles the question.

"The fact that the Western media have so widely accepted a story they would reject if it came out of any other country tells us a lot about how North Korea is covered - and how it's misunderstood," he writes.

Fisher also says that the Western media have an incentive to cover these kind of bizarre stories, as they generate a lot of attention. He quotes NKNews.org editor Chad O'Carroll as saying, "As you know, NK stories tend to get a lot of hits, so it's easy to see why editors will want to pursue these stories."

It would make things easier, writes Slate's Joshua Keating, if the North Korean government commented publicly on stories like this - but it's called the hermit kingdom for a reason.

"So given the Internet's insatiable appetite for weird North Korea stories, it becomes a bit of a free-for-all," he writes. "The North Korean government does so many bizarre things we can confirm that a few of these dubious rumors must surely be true, right?"

Sure. And hey, it makes for a compelling, albeit macabre, tale.

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 620.

    You can't believe all you read in the papers, I mean ours are saying that the beeb are bringing Del Boy and Rodney back. Outrageous.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 619.

    604.The Bloke
    I would shrink the organisation, sack many of its leading lights, ,and encourage its competitors to fill the void left.
    -
    Really? And who exactly would you replace it with? That well-known paragon of truth and justice, Fox News?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 618.

    i thought it was the Koreans that ate dog ,not the other way round, its time ,if china has fell out with nk .to send in a force to crush this animal ,killing his own uncle for having a different opinion ,does it matter how he was murdered by firing squad or by a pack of dogs its wrong on so many levels

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 617.

    Meanwhile our government prepares to destroy ancient woodland and we don't have a chance to comment. Get real !

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 616.

    It was actually only 118 dogs and they were beaten sensless first with Rubiks cubes in large woolen socks before being put in the Cage. Oh and the band continued to play throughout. WHAT IS THE POINT TO THIS STORY AND WHY OPEN IT UP TO PUBLIC OPINION?????.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 615.

    578 PaultheBadger. Our newspapers report stories as suits their agendas. The £10K for flying lessons is £7K LOAN and £3K payment, for flying training (which he passed) after Government changes said he couldn't apply for a Student Loan he wanted to take out, and he had applied for permanent status here, having come here when he was 13. Mail and Telegraph didn't bother to check their facts.

  • Comment number 614.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 613.

    Ceaucescu, the Romanian Dictator, and his wife Eleanor, were capable of terrible attrocities.As were their faithful 'Party' members.The public lived in fear and shortages.The people rose up,Nicky and Eleanor were finally executed.Romania became a democracy, of sorts. With outside help North Korean people could wake up and with the help of the West remove Kim Jung Un and the party faithful.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 612.

    Most posters on HYS are circumspect if not sceptical; most posters on the Daily Mails's forum have bought this story hook, line and sinker. What does that tell us?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 611.

    It's ruff ruff justice!

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 610.

    @Piggyback You don't say?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 609.

    I give up.

    Not worth postingbhere as anything said that is the least bit provocative or not following the BBC preffered line is removed by the moderator.

    Hardly a 'discussion' board.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 608.

    If China no longer cares about it's relationship with North Korea then that makes the peninsular even more unstable. This could be the beginning of the end but not without consequences.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 607.

    This is why the ban on fox hunting must remain. We have our own version of a self-entitled elite dynasty, they will use any means to keep their position at the top and beyond normal social restraint. The only difference between NK and the UK is the number of oil barrels.....and that might change for the worse soon enough, here too.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 606.

    Korean mystery- Yes it is a mystery perhaps as mysterious as who moderates these blogs. Keepers of such apparent state secrets shouldn't brag about their role on their website, anyone could find out you know.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 605.

    Does that mean that everything the western media chooses to publish - or equally, NOT publish - may be fabricated-spun-an exaggeration of the truth, or someting they wish to hide - all with the purpose of pushing certain agendas onto the gullible, X Factor watching, easily convinced western population???

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 604.

    This story is actually quite reasonable. It asks a question, and analyses the background.


    There are plenty of reasons to doubt and question the BBC. In fact, I would shrink the organisation, sack many of its leading lights, ,and encourage its competitors to fill the void left.

    But this story isn't a reason to attack the BBC. It's a reason to discuss the Japan/China/Koreas-ongoing crisis. Fine.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 603.

    Its as true as the 'fact' that Iraq had weapons of mass detruction and that in 1939 the germans were eating babies. Also both widely reported in the newspapers.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 602.

    BBC often under-reports stories for fear of legal backlash - must be certain of facts first.

    Then we read this tripe.

    Now who thinks this was worth paying a licence fee for?

    Sack the heads of BBC news and take on some junior hacks from a local paper - it couldn't be any worse.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 601.

    stories like this can be a prelude to China sending in troops to free North Korea or imprison it. especially with the new road bridge.
    But stories are getting more wild not just for Korea, because of the internet, adrenaling junkies. just look at the shoot em games. then think what blood flows in your body hi or not ?

 

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