Chinese newspaper falls for Onion’s ‘sexiest man’ story on North Korean leader
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un has been named 2012’s “Sexiest Man Alive”, China’s Communist Party newspaper proclaimed Tuesday after treating a spoof award by satirical US website The Onion as genuine.
The People’s Daily website published two paragraphs lifted word-for-word from The Onion, along with a photo gallery of 55 images of Kim, who took over as the North’s leader after his father Kim Jong-Il died last December.
The newspaper, known for keeping to the Communist Party line, described the organisation awarding the title as “US website The Onion”, but made no mention of satire and published the report in both English and Chinese as world news.
“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,” The Onion said in its original report, quoted by the People’s Daily.
“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.”
China is North Korea’s sole major ally and economic lifeline, providing it major food and fuel aid.
Pyongyang’s reliance on Beijing has increased as international sanctions over its missile and nuclear programmes have strangled its ability to secure international credit and foreign trade.
The People’s Daily cited The Onion’s supposed style and entertainment editor “Marissa Blake-Zweiber” as saying of Kim: “He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time.”