Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s wonky Supreme Leader, has allegedly been boasting lately about the execution of a so-called rebellious uncle, telling the world that he did away with his foe in a most gruesome manner – throwing his naked body to a pack of over 100 ravenous dogs.
The story, albeit unconfirmed, is at the same time just fanatical enough to potentially be true, reports Yahoo! News on Friday.
The story originally surfaced from the Singaporean Straits Times, which was covering the story secondhand from Chinese media reports. Jong’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, was reportedly the second in command of the communist North.
“Unlike previous executions of political prisoners which were carried out by firing squads with machine guns, Jang was stripped naked and thrown into a cage, along with his five closest aides. Then 120 hounds, starved for three days, were allowed to prey on them until they were completely eaten up. This is called quan jue, or execution by dogs… The entire process lasted for an hour, with Mr. Kim Jong Un, the supreme leader in North Korea, supervising it along with 300 senior officials.” –Straits Times
The timing of the news release is suspect; the incident reportedly happened on Dec. 12, and Western news outlets have just now started reporting on the story, but the fact that it was leaked out of Hong Kong media – and not the stringent, media-controlled Pyongyang itself – is cause for skepticism.
“The Straits Times is a respectable and widely read publication, but it's often been accused of being the mouthpiece of Singapore's ruling party and is staunchly anti-communist – so political bias is possible,” writes Tim Stanley from The Telegraph.
According to Yahoo! News, while reports of brutal punishment and offenses against human rights are common out of North Korea, the Washington Post published a warning against taking the report at face value. And the Post was far from the only skeptical outlet.