A fake news story that said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was killed in a coordinated, nationwide strike by U.S. forces under cover of darkness comes from a shopworn website known for churning out fabricated stories.
"Report: Kim Jong Un killed in (President Donald) Trump’s overnight black op attack on North Korea," read the headline on a July 28, 2017, ArmyUSANews.com post. Facebook users flagged the post as being potentially fabricated, as part of the social media site’s efforts to curb fake news.
The story said that 17 SEAL teams struck multiple targets, and that "in three hours time, the entire military infrastructure of that country has been eliminated," according to a reporter. Kim was reportedly killed, although state media played a "death to America" speech recorded years ago, the article said.
Kim Jong Un’s death has not been reported widely because this coordinated attack did not happen. The story is fake. (The photo showing a North Korean city on fire is actually a British hospital burning.)
A footnote on the bottom of the website said that "everything on this site is a satirical work of fiction." The warning is repeated in the About Us section, where a disclaimer reads, "We present fiction as fact and our sources don’t actually exist."
This isn’t the first time TheLastLineOfDefense.org has posted a story that said Kim was dead. The site posted a story on July 6 that said an American sniper had killed the North Korean leader — we ruled that claim Pants On Fire!
It’s not immediately apparent why the site would post essentially the same story just a couple of weeks apart. We attempted to contact TheLastLineOfDefense.org to see if a fictional assassination of Kim Jong Un would be a regular occurrence on the site, but didn’t get a response.
Just like the last time the site killed Kim, we rate this Pants On Fire!