From the Telegraph (U.K.)
Did North Korea's Kim Jong-un really kill his uncle with 120 starving dogs?
By Tim Stanley
Last updated: January 3rd, 2014
The thing about North Korea is that it's so mad, so gruesome that it's difficult not to believe whatever tall story you hear about it. Kim Jong-un ate a baby? The army uses kittens for taget practice? Kim Jong-il's reanimated corpse stalks the countryside scaring children? It all seems possible.
Which is why this story is so tempting. The Singaporean Straits Times reports that Chinese Media reports that Kim's recently slaughtered uncle was executed not by a firing squad but by a pack of hungry dogs.
According to the report, 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 report said 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.
How did Kim "supervise" it exactly? By handing out popcorn?
Western news outlets are slowly picking up the story but I'd urge caution. North Korean media has made no reference to starved dogs, including in Kim's New Year's message – even though the chubby prince did describe his uncle as "filth" (and a Happy New Year to you, too, comrade!). Moreover, why were 120 hounds used when half a dozen would do? And why the audience of 300? It's all a bit James Bond, a bit shark-tank-in-an-underground-bunker.
The source is questionable, too. If the Chinese knew about how Kim's uncle died, why didn't they talk about it sooner and why did the story only leak out through a Hong Kong news outlet? The incident was first reported by the Wen Wei Po newspaper on December 12, yet it's only now that The Straits Times has commented upon it – and only now that the Western media has started to take notice. 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. Finally, we can't dismiss the possibility that China itself has fabricated or at least encouraged the story to send a message to Pyongyang. Kim's uncle was the architect of closer economic ties between the China and North Korea and there is thought to be a lot of anger about his death.
My caution comes from bitter experience. A few months ago, I was one of many writers who fell for the claim that North Korean propaganda told its people that hungry Americans eat snow to survive. That turned out to be a fraud. But the problem with Kim's crazy "paradise" is that it's so thoroughly evil that it seems capable of any act of inhumanity. Including even this.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 11:13:56 AM by mountaineer »
The skeptic is never for real. There he stands, cocktail in hand, left arm draped languorously on one end of the mantelpiece, telling you that he can't be sure of anything, not even of his own existence. I'll give you my secret method of demolishing universal skepticism in four words. Whisper to him: "Your fly is open." If he thinks knowledge is so all-fired impossible, why does he always look? — James Sire (from, The Universe Next Door)