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.
This has not been 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.
Looks like Twitter death rumors are really cross-cultural.