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10 Jun, 2019 04:37

How far is too far? UK tabloids mocked for claiming Kim fed general to piranhas

How far is too far? UK tabloids mocked for claiming Kim fed general to piranhas

Even the readers of several British tabloids have cast doubt on a source-based story claiming that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un executed one of his generals in a piranha-filled tank.

The eye-grabbing headline first appeared in the Daily Star. The tabloid cited "sources" as saying that Kim executed one of his generals in a manner worthy of a James Bond movie, by throwing him into a fish tank infested with piranhas. In the 1977 film 'The Spy Who Loved Me', the evil Karl Stromberg fed his assistant to a shark and attempted to repeat the trick on Agent 007.

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The tank with the carnivorous fish is reportedly part of Kim's Ryongsong Residence, a luxury mansion in northern Pyongyang.

The report does not provide the names of the sources or the general, but is replete with gory detail – it claims that before being thrown to the piranhas, the general's arms and torso were slashed with knives. Whether he drowned, bled to death, or was killed by the piranhas (or whether any of it actually happened), is impossible to tell.

Readers of the Daily Star and other British tabloids that pounced on the story, however, found it hard to take at face value. Instead, a flurry of memes ensued.

Others predicted that the general, whoever he might be, will show up in public soon "after his well-deserved holidays."

Some suggested equipping the "sharks with frickin' laser beams," referencing the 1997 spy parody 'Austin Powers'.

"Were the laser beam sharks recharging?" one person asked.

Another quipped that it is a step up from other over-the-top execution techniques previously attributed to Kim, like the notorious anti-aircraft gun.

Some, however, were genuinely upset at the British media’s eager painting of Kim as a comic book villain based on unverifiable sources.

It comes just a week after initial claims that several North Korean officials, including nuclear envoy Kim Hyok-chol, were executed in the wake of the failed Trump-Kim summit. The claims were then challenged by other source-based reports indicating that the officials, or at least some of them, are still alive.

Rumors that Kim uses mortar fire and flamethrowers to execute those who have fallen from grace have been circulating for years. However, it's almost impossible to verify any of them, as Pyongyang is notoriously tight-lipped about its internal policies.

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