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N.K. media decries 'fake news' in S. Korea

North Korea 10:56 May 05, 2020

SEOUL, May 5 (Yonhap) -- A North Korean propaganda outlet on Tuesday denounced "fake news" in South Korea, after media speculation here over North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's health was proved to be wrong following his resumption of public activities last week.

The website, Meari, did not specifically mention the speculation, but its criticism appeared to target South Korean media that linked Kim's weekslong absence from the public eye to the possibility of his health problems.

Kim resumed his public activity during a ceremony marking the completion of a fertilizer factory Friday. The young leader had not been seen since he led a ruling party politburo session on April 11.

"Fake news that has been rampant in South Korea is putting people in a state of confusion," the outlet said in an article titled "Fake news rampant in South Korea with conservative media at forefront."

Meari also defined fake news as an "act of manipulating public opinion by intentionally fabricating false facts about a specific subject or group with a view to pursuing certain political and economic objectives," while noting such news spreads fast due to social media and other online platforms.

The website then derided conservative media in the South, saying it is fabricating fake news as if they were true, and that people in the South have difficulty discerning the truth from false reports.

Before Kim's return to the public eye last week, speculation in the South varied from Kim being incapacitated after surgery to the leader simply self-isolating over new coronavirus concerns. Officials both in Seoul and Washington dismissed suggestions that he was seriously ill.

Despite wild speculation, the North Korean media did not mention Kim's status.


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