North Korea: Fake news on both sides is the norm
A recent South Korean newspaper article claiming that the North Korean nuclear envoy to the US was executed by the North Korean regime after the February US-North Korea nuclear summit failed, exposes the highly speculative nature of mainstream media reporting on the most isolated county on the planet.
The story about the North Korean envoy’s supposed execution was widely reported last Friday by media outlets across the globe. However, the official in question was seen attending a ceremonial concert on North Korean state television on Sunday. As it turns out, the story had been fabricated by a conservative South Korean newspaper that cited only one anonymous source to back up its claim. According to Fabian Kretschmer of DW, this is not a standalone incident, but part of a structural problem. He believes that “the mass media’s fascination with the Kim dictatorship, combined with the nearly impenetrable fortress guarding information about the rogue state, has led to serious gaps in the accuracy of reporting on North Korea.”