It’s one of the viral rumours of the start of 2014: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is said to have executed his uncle by having him stripped and thrown to a pack of 120 dogs who had previously been starved for three days. It’s also claimed he invited around 300 officials to observe the gruesome hour-long spectacle.
The source for this rumour? Initially a state-run Chinese newspaper supposedly close to the North Korean leadership, the Wen Wei Po, which was then quoted by The Straits Times in Singapore before the story found its way to the Western media. In any case, the rumour is yet to be either confirmed or denied by official North Korean sources. A denial may well come. In the meantime the story has become fodder for some Western commentators as ravenous as Kim’s pack of hounds to chew over whether or not the story – as incredible as it sounds – might in fact be true. After all, this came out of North Korea…
The thing is about North Korea that there is little chance of anyone outside Kim’s inner circle ever really finding out the truth. We are fairly sure that Kim’s uncle, Chang Song Thaek, was executed. We know that Kim said this was the case and that he claimed in a New Year’s message that the ruling party was stronger without his once-powerful relative whom he described as “factional filth.”
There are three possibilities:
1. The story is true. Chang Song Thaek was indeed fed to the dogs.
2. The story is a fabrication ‘Made in China’.
3. The story is a fabrication ‘Made in Pyongyang’.
What is unsettling – apart from the story itself – is that it is nigh on impossible to verify. Perhaps what we should remember is not the dogs but the fact that, in the words of Human Rights Watch “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) systematically violates the rights of its population.”
And until something is done about it by the UN, or more likely China, we can expect more such stories to find their way to us, whether they be urban myths or grotesque facts.
- 1Aylan Kurdi: the boy whose picture broke the world’s heart
- 2Egyptian billionaire offers to buy Mediterranean island to house refugees
- 3Father of Syrian boy washed up on Turkish beach recalls boat horror
- 4Artist pays tribute to Aylan Kurdi and Good Samaritan
- 5Kentucky official jailed for refusing to recognise gay marriages
- 1euronews live TV - News | euronews : the latest international news as video on demand
- 2International breaking news | euronews online world breaking news in video
- 3Caught red-handed: the Russian Major fighting in Ukraine
- 4Video footage shows massive explosion in Tianjin, China
- 5Ukraine puts top Russian general Gerasimov on ‘most wanted’ list
- 6Why World Elephant Day matters
- 7Momentum for Mars: Astronauts say mission is inevitable
- 8Latest News Bulletin
- 9Who came out top in the US Republican television debate?
- 10UK: at least 7 dead after plane crashes into road in Brighton
- 11Snowden, Assange and Manning statues unveiled in Berlin
- 12Virginia:TV journalist and cameraman shot dead live on air
- 13ISIL militant group claims to have killed Croatian hostage in Egypt
- 14Earth Overshoot Day…Pushing Mother Nature too far
- 15Windows 10, three weeks on: the good, the bad and the ugly
- 16Bringing the trolls out of the dark: Russian ‘troll’ awarded 1 rouble damages
- 17As ‘Daily Show’ Jon Stewart’s tenure ends, scholars say goodbye to their research topic
- 18European Union News | euronews: latest breaking news and headlines about European Union
- 19International news | euronews, latest international news
- 20Scientists find sinkhole cave under Mexico’s Kukulkan Castle Pyramid
What’s happening this week 7/9/2015
And also…a one-man protest at Hungary’s treatment of refugees, Russia starts school with Chuck Berry, and Pope Francis goes shopping
ISIL militants blow up Palmyra’s ancient tower tombs
Artist pays tribute to Aylan Kurdi and Good Samaritan
Aylan Kurdi: the boy whose picture broke the world’s heart
Wires > News
- 00:50 CET Pakistani nationals extradited to U.S. in narco-terrorism case
- 23:26 CET Saudi Arabia welcomes Iran nuclear deal after Obama meeting -…
- 22:27 CET Druze leader killed in car bomb in southern Syria – monitor
- 22:26 CET Thousands rally in Beirut over politician’s presidential election…
- 21:32 CET North Korean karaoke stirs fear of mass propaganda sing-along in…
- 21:09 CET German U.N. official seen as favourite for Libya post – envoys
- 20:48 CET From Vietnam War to a Turkish beach, the shock of the photo endures
- 19:53 CET U.N.-backed anti-graft body to probe ex-Guatemala leader’s assets