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Be Leery When Reading NBC Report Concerning How Kim Jong Un’s Executed Uncle Was Eaten Alive By 120 Hungry Dogs

January 3, 2014

Kim-Jong-Un

Knowing my interest in North Korea the very first item James told me about this morning as I woke up and came into the office was the NBC news report concerning ravenous dogs killing and eating Kim Jong Un’s uncle.    The thing that struck me was not that Kim was unable to do such a thing, but the level of detail that others were able to amass about the matter from outside the country.  With some more reading online I find there are more reasons to doubt the accuracy of this strange headline.  Here are some reasons this story might be tossed aside and not considered.

The Washington Post’s Max Fisher offers five reasons to have doubts about the story, starting with:

“The source. The story originated in a Hong Kong newspaper called Wen Wei Po, which oddly makes the claim without citing a source. With a couple of high-quality exceptions, Hong Kong media have a reputation for sensationalist and tabloidy stories that do not always turn out to be true. But, even by Hong Kong standards, Wen Wei Po is considered an unusually unreliable outlet.”

Wen Wei Po is still the only news outlet with the eaten-by-dogs account of the execution.

— Too Specific? Journalism’s biggest fabricators in recent years have had a common approach — they dazzled readers with supposedly telling details to sell their stories. But one has to ask: Why were there precisely 120 dogs? Why had they supposedly been starved for three days in preparation? Why were there exactly 300 witnesses? Why did the execution supposedly last for one hour?

— Too Wild? North Korea has claimed it’s the second-happiest country in the world. It has said the sky turned red when former leader Kim Jong Il died. Its archaeologists supposedly uncovered “the lair of a unicorn.” If a story’s too wild for even the North Korean propaganda machine to touch, you have to wonder about it.

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