Malaysian Minister Allegedly Fell For A Fake Tweet On Kim Jong-Nam's Cause Of Death
Kim Jong-Nam died mysteriously in Malaysia on Monday, 13 February. A Twitter account has claimed to know the cause of his death.
One day after Kim Jong-Nam's death, the Twitter account DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) wrote an interesting tweet on Tuesday, 14 February that has been retweeted more than 900 times and gained 600 likes.
The "official news feed of Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK)" claimed that the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un allegedly died due to "indigestion epidemic".
The tweet also accused "filthy Malaysians" of poor food handling and sanitation practices, and that they are to be blamed for Kim Jong-Nam's death.
Perhaps the public may just dismiss the tweet without thinking twice, but Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman took the allegations seriously
Sinar Harian reported yesterday, 16 February, that the Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister was concerned about the implications of the tweet.
"I have asked the ministry officials to investigate the allegations immediately to ensure that it does not affect the country's reputation."
"Although the news is from social media and can be a rumour, we can not remain silent in this matter, and immediate investigation should be done," he told reporters yesterday.
He added that he also did not want the news or allegations to put Malaysia in a bad light because the tweet suggests that the food in this country is not safe to eat.
However, netizens have since pointed out that the tweet originated from a parody account and that Tajuddin may have fallen for it
According to American website Gizmodo, @DPRK_News has been posing as an official mouthpiece of the authoritarian regime for the last few years.
Even reputable international news media such as CNN, Reuters, and Fox New have all fell for this account and quoted tweets from it as a real voice.
In 2014, it was revealed that the parody account's authors are actually bloggers for Popehat.com.
Do you think Tajuddin was aware that @DPRK_News is a parody account? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
It is believed that Kim Jong-Nam was poisoned to death at KLIA2, and the police have arrested several suspects related to the case: