North Korea

Kim Jong-un's Uncle Was Not Stripped and Fed to Starved Dogs

Story started after satirical post was put on a Chinese social media network

|

It sounded just believable enough to catch on: Kim Jong-Un executed his uncle Jang Song-thaek by having him stripped naked and fed to a pack of starving dogs.

Yet the story, which was first reported by a Hong Kong tabloid and then picked up in the western press, apparently originated with a satirical post on a Chinese social media network, turning a thinly-sourced horror story into an astonishing example of the media echo chamber gone awry.

Kim did, in fact, purge his uncle and former second-in-command last month in remarkably high-profile fashion – the country's official news agency called Jang "an anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional element" and "despicable human scum" when it announced his execution on 13 December. Analysts said that he was probably killed by firing squad.