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Anyone logging on to the Internet for news today cannot have failed to see the bizarre story that the Great Larder in North Korea had "fed his uncle to the dogs", literally. The report originated from a pro-Peking newspaper in Hong Kong, Wen Wei Po. Of course whether that is true is open to debate, but the North Korean regime is so weird, it could be or not, who knows.
The fact that this story appeared in a newspaper under the thumb of the Chinese Communist censor is telling. Perhaps their man had indeed been "hounded out of office literally" but the Western press remains sceptical. The Washington Post reports:
....consider the fact that the rest of the Chinese media have not touched this story in the almost-month since it came out. Some observers are treating the story as credible because Wen Wei Po is aligned with the Chinese government in Beijing; if anyone would know what really happened in Pyongyang, it would probably be the Chinese government, right? But Wen Wei Po is not anywhere near as close to China's power centers as official outlets such as Xinhua and the People's Daily. The entire remainder of the Chinese media have been sticking to the same story that everyone else has: that Jang was killed by either machine gun or anti-aircraft guns (the two could plausibly be conflated). China has not been shy about expressing its displeasure with North Korea lately, but the fact that little Wen Wei Po is all alone on this story should tell us something.
In fact the predominant story is that he was executed by firing squad, which would fit in with him being tried by a military tribunal. The Post also reminds us this happened a month ago and of course it is notoriously difficult to get reliable information from the worlds most secretive (and repressive) state.
Of course this story has risen to the usual "dark humour" that surrounds such events with jokes about dogs getting their revenge for being eaten as part of the Korean diet. But the fact remains that North Korea like so many nutty regimes has become a parody of itself.
Only a year ago according to the Guardian:
Yet in what appears to be a genuine world exclusive, the inimitableKorean Central News Agency (KCNA) has now broken the incredible news that archaeologists in Pyongyang have discovered a unicorn's lair.
Or rather, the report says that they have "recently reconfirmed" the lair of one of the unicorns ridden by the ancient Korean King Tongmyong, founder of a kingdom which ruled parts of China and the Korean peninsula from the the 3rd century BC to 7th century AD.
The KCNA goes on to state that the location happens to be 200 metres from a temple in the North Korean capital, adding: "A rectangular rock carved with words "Unicorn Lair" stands in front of the lair."
"The carved words are believed to date back to the period of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392)," says the report.
Archaeologists from the Academy of Social Sciences at North Korea's History Institute were credited with making the discovery.
So any things possible in the world according to "Juche". However be warned watching soaps are not good for your health in North Korea. The Huffington Post takes up the story:
North Korea publicly executed around 80 people earlier this month, many for watching smuggled South Korean TV shows, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday.
The conservative JoongAng Ilbo cited a single, unidentified source, but at least one North Korean defector group said it had heard rumours that lent credibility to the front-page report.
The source, said to be "familiar" with the North's internal affairs and recently returned from the country, said the executions were carried out in seven cities on November 3.
In the eastern port of Wonsan, the authorities gathered 10,000 people in a sports stadium to watch the execution of eight people by firing squad, the source quoted one eyewitness as saying.
Most were charged with watching illicit South Korean TV dramas, and some with prostitution.
EastEnders fans watch out for communists in your street!
Think I'm kidding? Read this from the New Worker, the Great Larders cheerleaders in Britain:
These people, who rejoiced when Saddam Hussein was sentenced to death by a kangaroo court comprised entirely of his enemies; these people who gloated when Muammar Gaddafi was lynched by a Nato-funded mob, now talk about the “extreme brutality” of the north Korean government for executing a self-confessed traitor who wanted supreme power for himself and the destruction of the DPRK’s socialist system.
Despicable human scum Jang who was worse than a dog, as the Pyongyang’s Daily Worker put it, was shot last week after being found guilty of treason, economic sabotage and gross corruption....
The Jang group deliberately sabotaged economic planning in the DPRK to aggravate problems and foster discontent amongst the masses and the armed forces — discontent Jang’s clique then intended to exploit to win support for his plan to seize power on a “reformist” platform that they believed would then soon win international recognition.
Reform? Can't have that can we comrades!
Heaven forbid if the North Korean people ever throw off the yolk of communism and starvation.