Photos released from North Korea are often examined by Western media with the closest of scrutiny. The Washington Post‘s Max Fisher commented on why ST circulated a 12 December story originating from the Chinese government-controlled paper Wen Wei Po about Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and five aides being fed to 120 attack dogs:
“The Straits Times is a respectable and widely read publication, but it’s often been accused of being the mouthpiece of Singapore’s ruling party and is staunchly anti-communist – so political bias is possible.”
It would make things easier, wrote Slate‘s Joshua Keating, if the North Korean government commented publicly on weird stories like this – but it’s called the hermit kingdom for a reason. “The North Korean government does so many bizarre things we can confirm that a few of these dubious rumors must surely be true, right?”
Rumours are now abuzz why some cabinet members are included in the picture, and who, if any, have been photoshopped out. When it was announced that the top toothpick pincher had to surrender his union stronghold, we were told a cabinet reshuffle was in the works. Which provides much speculation fodder for this year’s Chinese New Year reunion dinner. Just remember to do your shopping for alcoholic beverages before the curfew kicks in.
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