Kim Jong Un still alive: Officials deny Twitter claims that North Korean leader is dead | Tat's Revolution
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Kim Jong Un still alive: Officials deny Twitter claims that North Korean leader is dead

  Luis MartinezBy Luis Martinez

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gty kim jong un lunar new year thg 120210 wblog US Officials Say Kim Jong Un Assassination Rumors UntrueKNS/AFP/Getty Images

 

The Internet was abuzz with rumors today that North Korea’s newly installed leader, Kim Jong Un, was assassinated during a trip to Beijing, but U.S. officials are debunking the reports as not true.

Several U.S. officials contacted by ABC News said there was no validity to the reports that originated on a Chinese social media site and soon spread to Twitter.

“There’s nothing to this, ” said one U.S. official, who added that there were no indications that the reports were true.

Another U.S. official said, “Our experts are monitoring the  situation and we see no abnormal activity on the [Korean] peninsula and nothing that credits that tweet as accurate.”

North Korean troop movements on the North Korean side of the border are often an indicator that the country’s leadership is preparing for tense situations, much as what happened when Kim Jong Un assumed power late last year.

Sina Weibo, a Chinese equivalent  of Twitter, saw a spike in traffic repeating uncorroborated reports that Kim had been assassinated during a visit to Beijing.

The story gained traction on Twitter with re-tweets of what appeared to be confirmation of the reports by two BBC Twitter accounts.  However, a BBC Web article reported those  twitter handles were fakes and have since been closed.

Today’s Internet rumors were not the first time that Kim has been the focus of social media rumors.   In early January, postings to Sina Weibo began to appear claiming that Kim had been overthrown in a military coup.  Since then, the Chinese government has been eliminating those postings from the site.   The same is happening with today’s rumors on the social media site.

There were also rumors that Kim Jong Un had ordered the assassination of his half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, the eldest of Kim Jong Il’s children, who was passed over as his successor.

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Kim Jong Un is NOT dead: ‘Assassination’ rumours were a hoax, say U.S. officials

By Hugo Gye

Last updated at 5:06 AM on 11th February 2012

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American officials have shot down rumours that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated.

The claim originated in China yesterday and rapidly circulated on Twitter and Chinese micro-blogging sites.

Due to the difficulty of verifying news from the ultra-secretive government of North Korea, news organisations were unable to debunk the rumour.

But U.S. officials said that they believed the claim to be untrue, and had seen no evidence of ‘abnormal activity’ in North Korea.
Not dead: Kim Jong Un greeting soldiers in a photograph released on Thursday

Not dead: Kim Jong Un greeting soldiers in a photograph released on Thursday

The claim that Kim, supreme leader of North Korea since the death of his father Kim Jong Il in December, had died apparently stemmed from a message sent out by a man who works near the country’s embassy in Beijing.

He posted on Sina Weibo: ‘Downstairs from the office, the cars at the Korean embassy are increasing rapidly, now there are over 30 cars. It’s the first time I’ve seen this situation, did something happen in Korea?’

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This seemingly innocuous question, bolstered by other witnesses who saw an unusual number of cars at the embassy, was magnified by the power of internet gossip into a rumour that Kim had been assassinated by gunmen who burst in his bedroom and were subsequently killed by his bodyguards.

Wilder commentators even spun the supposed assassination in to a broader claim that a coup was underway in North Korea which could depose the Kim dynasty, rulers of the country ever since it split with the south in 1948.
Rumours: North Korea’s supreme leader was said to have been assassinated

Rumours: North Korea’s supreme leader was said to have been assassinated

But when ABC News asked U.S. officials for confirmation of the assassination rumours, one simply told them, ‘There’s nothing to this.’

Another official said: ‘Our experts are monitoring the situation and we see no abnormal activity on the [Korean] peninsula and nothing that credits that tweet as accurate.’

It was thought that the death of the elder Kim would herald a period of instability, potentially leading to regime change, but those expectations have not been fulfilled.

A less dramatic but equally bizarre explanation for the large number of cars at the North Korean embassy was suggested by Gawker and Chinese news agency Phoenix.

They pointed out that this month would have been the 70th birthday of Kim Jong Il, and a large number of events including tours of China and North Korea are set to mark the anniversary.
Happy birthday! Activity at the North Korean embassy in Beijing is more likely to mark the posthumous birthday celebrations of Kim Jong Il

Happy birthday! Activity at the North Korean embassy in Beijing is more likely to mark the posthumous birthday celebrations of Kim Jong Il

So perhaps the increased activity at the embassy was not to do with the current leader, but with his dead father – in fact, it is not even clear whether or not Kim Jong Un is currently in China.

The escalating pace of rumours points to the speed at which false information can speed round the world via social networks and online news sources.

It also highlights the increasing importance of Chinese micro-blogs, known as weibo, which are more lightly regulated than other Chinese media.

Weibo and Twitter seem to have fed off each other in the case of the Kim rumours, as most tweets about the claims pointed to weibo as their sources, while Chinese posts frequently mentioned Twitter to back up their own accuracy.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2099691/Kim-Jong-Un-NOT-dead-Assassination-rumours-hoax-say-U-S-officials.html#ixzz1m8uj3LnD

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What do Eddie Murphy, Drake, Scott Baio and now Kin Jung Un have in common? They’ve been prematurely killed off on Twitter.

U.S. military officials have shot down rumors that Kim, the newly installed North Korean leader, was assassinated during a visit to China.

Officials told CNN.com late Friday that they found no evidence that the “supreme leader” was dead, despite what the unsuspecting masses were busy tweeting.

“With that society you can never be 100% sure, but we just don’t see any evidence of it,” the official told CNN.

The story went that assassins barged into the dictator’s room and shot him. The rumors began on microblogging site Weibo in China, then jumped to Twitter, where they were even spread by a fake BBC news account, lending them the sheen of credibility.

Authorities believe Kim fell victim not to assassins, but to malicious Twitter rumormongers.

But because the country is infamously secretive, many wondered if this rumor had the ring of truth to it.

The preliminary analysis of the rumor suggests it is part of a “calculated effort to disrupt the economy of South Korea at a fragile time by suggesting things are going haywire up north,” an official told CNN.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/kim-jong-alive-officials-deny-twitter-claims-north-korean-leader-dead-article-1.1021042#ixzz1mBbxRX3E

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