Rumor of the day: New North Korean leader assassinated in Beijing; Update: Untrue, says U.S.

posted at 7:16 pm on February 10, 2012 by Allahpundit

His brother did say that he wouldn’t last long. Hmmmmmmm.

A team of trained ninja assassins snuck into North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s room overnight and assassinated the new leader while he was on a business trip in Beijing — if rumors spreading across microblogging service Twitter and its Chinese counterpart Weibo are to be believed, that is.

The rumors — unsubstantiated by any major news service or government agency — started on the Chinese language Twitter clone earlier today, claiming Jong-Un had been killed in his residence.

“According to reliable sources, North Korean leader [Kim Jong-Un was killed] in Beijing in February 10 2012, at 2 o’clock and 45 minutes. Unknown persons broke into his residence shot and were subsequently shot and killed by the bodyguard,” one Tweet claimed.

If you believe everything you read on Twitter then you also believe Eddie Murphy died in a snowboarding accident earlier this week. In fact, I’m not sure if the irresistible detail about the assassins being ninjas in the story quoted above actually comes from any Chinese tweets or if it originated somewhere further down the rumor chain. Fox News is the only outlet on Google News that mentions anything about ninjas; this might be a nifty meta-example of how bad information can explode and even end up being amplified in the speed-of-light media circuit.

Gawker notes that a conference celebrating Kim Jong-il was scheduled to begin at the North Korean embassy in Beijing two days ago, which might explain why things there were unusually busy this morning. The Atlantic adds that suppressing news of major events in a roiling Chinese metropolis these days is harder than it used to be thanks to the growing use of social media. If something big happened in a city where millions upon millions of people use Weibo/Twitter, odds are it’ll leak. The only element of all this that gave me pause is that if Kim were to be assassinated, this is the logical place for it to happen. If the coup plotters bumped him off in Pyongyang, some elements of the military might conclude that it was South Korean infiltrators who did it, and that of course would hugely increase the risk of war. In Beijing that’s less likely. Likewise, the NorKs naturally want their citizen-hostages to believe that its borders are impregnable; if Kim is killed in the capital and South Korea is scapegoated, then the leadership is admitting that it’s not omniscient, even when it comes to protecting the life of the Dear Leader. If they do it in Beijing then they can blame weak Chinese guards for the “security lapse.”

But all of that avoids the most basic point: Why would they want to kill him? He’s only 28 and basically a figurehead while the old hands around him run the country. It’d be idiotic to shatter the cult of personality surrounding the Kims by bumping him off when you could just lead him by the nose behind the scenes. Speaking of which, check out this recent Telegraph vid of Kim getting the full Beatles ’64 treatment from students at a NorK military school. Why throw this level of adulation away when it’s such an effective tool for controlling the population?

Update: U.S. officials tells ABC it’s a big nothingburger.


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He’s big.

Schadenfreude on February 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Big story. Big picture.

MadisonConservative on February 10, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Where’s the obligatory “too good to be true” designation?!

Jaibones on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Hmmmm…..you don’t suppose they’re “running this up the flagpole” to gauge public response?

GarandFan on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

At that particular moment, there were absolutely no Joos in Tienanmin Square. But Mossad killer sharks were spotted in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Hey. I’m just asking the questions.

Rixon on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Did AP go to CPAC and didn’t tell anyone..?

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

The ninja twist is delicious.

Jaibones on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Was he on the meal plan?

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Hey, this isn’t a Tina thread!

portlandon on February 10, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Is he still dead? Just checking…

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Did AP go to CPAC and didn’t tell anyone..?

d1carter on February 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM

Heh. Picturing anonymous commenter types trolling the crowd at CPAC, sidling up to white guys with bad goatees and whispering “AP…that you? It’s me…Jaibones.”

Jaibones on February 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

A team of trained ninja assassins

Ninjas in China? No way, ninjas are Japanese. Now, some rogue Shou Lin monks? I’d buy that.

iurockhead on February 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

A team of trained ninja assassins snuck into North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s room overnight and assassinated the new leader while he was on a business trip in Beijing

We’re they young?

WERE THEIR SHELLS??

Tim_CA on February 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

Killed by ninja’s? Shoulda had pirates as bodyguards.

Sultanofsham on February 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Deader than Elvis…

TXUS on February 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM

One Chinese wrote that Kim had a basketball bounced off his head for twenty hours while being force fed hot dogs.

BL@KBIRD on February 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Why would they want to kill him? He’s only 28 and basically a figurehead while the old hands around him run the country.

.
They“:
1 North Koreans (any faction) – whacking Kim the Boy clearly frees up the #1 position, and removes many/all ties between all factions … power is up for grabs. Very manyof them can’t allow their people to starve any longer. Watch for the Kims to be publicly exhumed and fed to dogs.
.
2 Chinese – whacking Kim the Boy clearly frees up the #1 position, and forces some sort of regime change now, and one likely selected by China.
.
3 South Koreans – whacking Kim the Boy clearly frees up the #1 position, and might settle a score or two. Maybe the SKs had assurances from credible NK players that the new regime, if things change now, would be very pro-SK. It might take time, and many political dance steps, but N and S are still related.
.
4 Others – whacking Kim the Boy clearly frees up the #1 position, and might settle a personal score. Rumors suggest that Kim the Boy was a bit of a “problem” … maybe he hurt someone’s family, and they decided to even the score.

Arbalest on February 10, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Bet they were female ninjas to boot.

rbj on February 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM

“Assassinated by ninjas” sounds a little more nobleless ignoble than “choked on a dish of moo goo gai pan”

Jeddite on February 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM

My 8 year told me.(I didn’t know she was twitter.)I feel old.(AND NO SMILEY FACE. I hate those things.)

flackcatcher on February 10, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I’ve been looking at this “tweet” all day. Is it or is it not true? Jus askin……

sicoit on February 10, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Weird, I saw this earlier but nothing has been substantiated so maybe it’s about as credible as the wooly mammoth story. Which I totally fell for :/

scalleywag on February 10, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Nooooooo
If this is true, the poor ppl of north Korea will have to practice sobbing and falling all over the place again. Well, break out the Lincoln’s, and throw a empty casket on top, were having another party!

angrymike on February 10, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Kim Jung? Un-dead?

Why would they want to kill him?

Kim Jung-un’s only true saving grace is that he is a dead ringer for his Grandpa…and was properly anointed by his Dad prior to his shuffling off his own mortal coil.

There are factions…some are more rabid than others, some worse than others, but nothing resembling “moderates” running around P’yongyang. The ability of the regime to pay off (through gifts, mansions, choice assignments, new Volvo’s and such) is growing more and more limited as yet another generation of senior officers comes up the ranks…and finds their way to the top blocked by a huge number of 60-plus and 70-plus old tired generals who occupy space with very little hands on attention to their assignments…and in any model of a totalitarian regime it is among these that dissent, if we can use that word, germinates.

There is also this older brother thing going on…the original first choice living in Macau…who is being paid well to stay in Macau, with no real job other than to try to arrange whatever “business” deals he can among the shady world of money-makers of a lesser class all around Asia. The regime needs these contacts as they are part of the lifeblood of maintaining the regime. Does he have the contacts, followers and ability to mount a real challenge? Perhaps taking the once-offered mantle of leadership on his own?

While I believe Kim Jung-un is alive and well…if I were him I wouldn’t be making long-range plans into the out years just yet.

coldwarrior on February 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

But all of that avoids the most basic point: Why would they want to kill him?

Was he a figurehead? Or was he headstrong and defiant, believing himself to be the Messiah? That could be just as much of a threat to the powers around him.

MadisonConservative on February 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

would it kill them to give some subtitles? I would like to know what the narration is.

sbvft contributor on February 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Notice how all the big dogs in Korea are on the corpulent side while everyone else is thin and starving, a la Animal Farm.

jazzuscounty on February 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

You know it’s propaganda because they show them actually eating. Probably plastic turkey.

WitchDoctor on February 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

late term abortion

wheelgun on February 10, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Kim Jong-Un may have started the rumor himself, to gauge the reaction and smoke out “enemies”.

Paranoia runs in the family. Daddy picked him for a reason.

farsighted on February 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Can Hugo Chavez, Cristina Kirchner, Evo Morales, Mugabe, and all the the MidEast be next?

antisense on February 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM

farsighted on February 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

Good point……

sicoit on February 10, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Bet they were female ninjas to boot.

rbj on February 10, 2012 at 7:30 PM

You were right. Here is a video of the incident:

bernverdnardo1 on February 10, 2012 at 7:37 PM

What are the odds it’s Stephen Harper winning a dare with the Chinese and getting an extra 10% on the oil deal?

BL@KBIRD on February 10, 2012 at 7:38 PM

farsighted on February 10, 2012 at 7:35 PM

A “loyalty test” has been run inside North Korea more than a time or two over the years.

Wake up some officer or high-level minister in the wee hours of morning with the profound news that Great Leader or Dear leader had been taken out and then gauge his reaction. Helps to cull the herd now and then.

coldwarrior on February 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Ninjas in China? No way, ninjas are Japanese. Now, some rogue Shou Lin monks? I’d buy that.

iurockhead on February 10, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Actually, “Ninja” comes from “Shadow People”, which is a concept that Japan imported from China.
Of course, real “ninja” just secretly post political poetry.

Count to 10 on February 10, 2012 at 7:39 PM

Cue the theme music from “Weekend at Bernies.”

M. Scott Eiland on February 10, 2012 at 7:40 PM

“I’m kind of a ‘BIG DEAL’ around here”

ImageSniper on February 10, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Allah: Cant post a Kim Jong Un story without the “Hungry Kim Jong Un” meme pics:

http://canv.as/ugc/original/a9a37768b3609f748760756788deb7b606fb199c.jpeg

Dash on February 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

A team of trained ninja assassins … and were subsequently shot and killed by the bodyguard,”

Hopeful, but doubtful. Or, not so “trained”.

IrishEyes on February 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

Apparently the rumor happens a few time every week. Only this time it spread around a little more.

Two black cars double park outside the NK embassy in Beijing and the reason is the dear successor is rumored to be dead ect.

tjexcite on February 10, 2012 at 7:47 PM

ninja assassins…who wouldn’t believe it?

DHChron on February 10, 2012 at 7:48 PM

A team of trained ninja assassins … and were subsequently shot and killed by the bodyguard,”
Hopeful, but doubtful. Or, not so “trained”.

IrishEyes on February 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM

lol….Remember the guy with the persian fighting saber in “Raiders of the Lost Arc”?

Tim_CA on February 10, 2012 at 7:51 PM

hahahaha…best scene ever

DHChron on February 10, 2012 at 7:52 PM

bho needs to send mo over to nk stat to get this slug to eat veggies! Dang, I am sorry the hot dog thing isn’t real to crater this worm? People of nk you don’t have to cry on cue now that the new dear leader is sol!
L

letget on February 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM

letget on February 10, 2012 at 7:54 PM

letget, you are positively FABULOUS! :)

sicoit on February 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

letget, s/b isn’t sol
L

letget on February 10, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Here we go:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KwMK78idpA

Tim_CA on February 10, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Damn…

Philly on February 10, 2012 at 7:57 PM

He’s not dead!
He’s in the U.S.A competing in one of those hot dog eating competitions!

KOOLAID2 on February 10, 2012 at 8:06 PM

But, but North Koreans love dear Leader, he gave them free healthcare and free contraception. And what do you mean these people look thin? I mean at some point you’ve had enough food.

/sarc off

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on February 10, 2012 at 8:15 PM

LOL!!!!!! Eggcellent Raquel Pinkbullet…..egggcellent! :)

sicoit on February 10, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Everyone chill. You are disturbing his Olympic triathelon workout.

Limerick on February 10, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Rumor of the day: New North Korean leader assassinated in Beijing; Update: Untrue, says U.S.

As if you can trust ANYTHING either of those communist despotic regimes say.

LegendHasIt on February 10, 2012 at 8:36 PM

As if you can trust ANYTHING either of those communist despotic regimes say.

LegendHasIt on February 10, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Or the MSM.

mimi1220 on February 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Or the MSM.

mimi1220 on February 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM

We, too, have a Ministry of Propaganda…just not as tightly organized as the one in P’yongyang.

coldwarrior on February 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Or the MSM.
mimi1220 on February 10, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Wait… You mean that it is separate, NOT a part of the regime?

LegendHasIt on February 10, 2012 at 9:35 PM

We, too, have a Ministry of Propaganda…just not as tightly organized as the one in P’yongyang.

coldwarrior on February 10, 2012 at 9:20 PM

Really, you don’t think it is tightly organized? They seem to be in lock-step.

mimi1220 on February 10, 2012 at 10:32 PM

A team of trained ninja assassins

Ooooh, you said NINJAS….

>putting away my Black outrage<…

Never Mind!… :o)

BlaxPac on February 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

No one can resist a story about Ninjas, I wanna know did they whack him with the short sword, stars, poison, that ball/hook combo. Did they pull the disappearing smoke trick, walk on the walls upside down do some hand flips then whack him or what?

Details Details, oh yeah aren’t ninjas japanese?

Africanus on February 10, 2012 at 11:18 PM

About the video – let’s not forget that dear ol’ dad had many body doubles … and the son?

Friendly21 on February 11, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Wait, it was ninjas? I bet he was pulling the plug on the nuke arrangement with Iran, and they offed him! Yeah, that’s the ticket!

GWB on February 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM

‘Being a ninja is about patience, tolerance, and fortitude. Literally it means the art of becoming invisible.

Meet Iran’s female ninja assassins

Iranian Ninjas-Iran-01-29-2012 Video

luckybogey on February 11, 2012 at 10:04 AM

On Friday, Ninjas picked up my trash instead of the regular Rumpke crew. Should I be worried?

Wallythedog on February 11, 2012 at 5:37 PM