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Rumors that Kim Jong-un, the country’s supreme leader, has been assassinated just months after he took power originated on Chinese microblogging service Weibo and have now spread all over Twitter.
Others are reporting that Jong-un, believed to be 28 years old, may be on the run rather than dead, but both reports claim that some kind of coup is taking place.
One person on Weibo wrote (loose translation): “north korea’s biggest leader kim jung un, this morning in beijing time 2:45 am, had his residence broken into and was assassinated by unidentified people, who were shot dead by his bodyguards in korea’s embassy in beijing, vehicles are rapidly increasing in number, and have surpassed 30 of them, this sort of battle formation hasn’t been seen in over two years. please verify this.”
The rumors remain unsubstantiated. However, the reports are beginning to attract a great deal of attention, especially now that a couple of American news outlets including the Atlantic Wire have reported on them.
Weibo is in many ways the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, and disseminates news at a rapid pace. People were tipped off that there was something happening that involved Jong-Un, who succeeded his late father Kim Jong-Il, because of the mass of cars parked outside of his resident.
At a regional summit this month in Mexico, attended by the leaders of 11 Latin American and Caribbean countries, officials declared that “the authorities in consumer countries should explore all possible alternatives to eliminate exorbitant profits of criminals, including regulatory or market options.”
“Market options” is diplomatic code for decriminalization.