The Chinese Communist Party Newspaper cited a report by The Onion which named North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un as the “Sexiest Man Alive”. Clearly this was a satirical joke by The Onion however the punch line ended up being the Chinese media after they failed to see the satire.
Quoting the Onion’s skit report, the Chinese newspaper penned, “”With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman’s dream come true.”
“Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper’s editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile,” the People’s Daily cited The Onion as stating.
The People’s Daily even ran the story with a 55 page photo spread including pictures of Kim on horseback, in sunglasses and waving to crowds.
This is not the first time Chinese media has run a fictional story by The Onion as legitimate news. In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the capital city’s main tabloids at the time, published as news the fictional account that the U.S. Congress sought a new building and that it might leave Washington. The Onion article was a parody of the way sports teams threaten to leave cities in order to get new stadiums.
Kim assumed office following his father’s death in 2011. He was announced as the “Great Successor” by North Korean state television. Many reports indicate that the human rights abuses under the leadership of Kim Jong-il are being continued by Kim Jong-un such as ordering to kill defectors, conducting public executions, and sending people to political prison camps. It is widely believed that he was involved in the offensive of Yeonpyeong and the Cheonan sinking to reinforce his military credentials and ease a successful transition of power from his father.