Asia

Twitter fuels Kim Jong-un assassination rumour

  • 10 February 2012
  • From the section Asia
Kim Jong Un
Image caption Kim Jong-un took over as leader when his father died last year

A rumour that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated in Beijing has spread across social media websites all over the world.

The story apparently originated on Chinese microblog site Sina Weibo and was later picked up by Twitter users.

The reports were also carried on at least two fake BBC Twitter accounts, which have since been closed.

Analysts say the story, claiming he was killed by gunmen at the North Korean embassy, is highly implausible.

Kim Jong-un took over leadership of the reclusive state after the death of his father Kim Jong-il late last year.

By Friday night, Sina Weibo had more than 380,000 posts referencing the rumour, which became a trending topic on Twitter.

However, many of the tweets were sceptical of the story.

No officials have commented on the rumour, and no reliable sources have given it any credence.

Rumours of deaths of celebrities and world leaders commonly spread on social-media sites like Twitter.