"The Hunger Games" took on whole new meaning in North Korea Thursday, when a report surfaced in U.S. media claiming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fed his uncle to a pack of hungry dogs. But it's likely just as fictional as the book and movie series, said many experts who questioned the story's veritability.
A Chinese government-supported newspaper known as Wen Wei Po reported unverified, gory details of Kim Jong Un's extermination of his uncle, Jan Song Thaek, last month. According to the Chinese tabloid, Kim Jong Un satisfied a starving pack of 120 dogs with his uncle and his uncle's five aides, NBC News reports.
Jang and his allies were "completely eaten up" in the "quan jue," or execution by dogs, the report added.
The report even claims Un and 300 North Korean officials observed the spectacle as his naked uncle was fed to hunting hounds, which had been starved for five days.
Though many western media outlets have begun covering the report, the information has not actually been confirmed. In fact, the Washington Post gives five reasons of why the sensational story is just that: a sensational story. It deemed the report "probably not true," citing the fact that the newspaper that originally published the report with no sources and is ranked 19th out of 21 for credible newspapers in Hong Kong.
"On occasion, single source rumors do turn out to be true, though more often than not they don't," Chad O'Carroll, editor of the news site NKNews.org said to The Washington Post.
O'Carroll explained the hype and willingness to believe the unbelievable when it comes to North Korean news is encouraged by the fact that the country is so secretive and reports are almost impossible to confirm.
"North Korea stories tend to get a lot of hits, so it's easy to see why editors will want to pursue these stories," O'Carroll said.
Jang was executed in December for allegations of corruption, womanizing, gambling and taking drugs. Northth Korea released a statement calling the Jang, who had been the second in command, a "traitor to the nation for all ages," "worse than a dog" and "despicable human scum," The Associated Press reported.