Kim Jong-un is not dead, Seoul officials announce

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Kim Jong-un is not dead, Seoul officials announce


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is not dead, Seoul announced, refuting a report made Friday morning by the news satire site East Asia Tribune.

“We cannot verify the credentials of this news agency,” a South Korean Ministry of Unification official said. “It looks like just a petty move to capture the public’s attention.”

The article has been flooded with comments questioning the validity of the report, one of which pointed out that even the listed address of the media was false.

The article, “North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un Dead After Apparent Suicide Attack,” was published at approximately 3 a.m. and reported that a woman broke through Kim’s guards and detonated a bomb, killing Kim, who was at the time participating in a ceremony in the Potong River region at Pyongyang. The site went on to say that the North Korean leader was immediately sent to the hospital but he was dead by the time he arrived.

“We tried to verify the report,” an official from South Korean Ministry of National Defense said, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, “but as far as we know, it is not true.”

The article also notes that North Korean witnesses were too overcome with grief to share any useful information, except for one guard, who noted that she was “exceptionally beautiful” before Korea Central Television authorities cut his interview short.

“According to our sources, Kim Jong-un is healthy,” said another official, also in anonymity. “If Kim faced death by suicidal explosive attack, we would have known.”

Other stories listed on East Asia Tribune’s website include one about China adopting an “alternate breathing days” law to curb pollution and another about a UN intern loses his job for a “China, Province of Taiwan” typo.

An official from South Korean Ministry of Unification questioned the credibility of the site, saying, “Claims of Kim’s death seem contrary to the truth.”


BY JEONG YONG-SOO, KIM HYUNG-GU [jeong.byungki@joongang.co.kr]

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