A report in a Beijing-controlled Hong Kong newspaper that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's uncle had been executed by being devoured by 120 starving dogs was likely a satire posted on China's microblogging site Weibo.
The story which was published in official Chinese newspaper Wen Wei Po, was the source of intense speculation among experts and journalists over its credibility. It stated that Kim's uncle Jang Song-thaek and his five closest aides were stripped naked and thrown into a cage to be devoured by dogs.
The source of the grisly story, which was picked up Singapore newspaper the Straits Times, appears to have been a satirical post on the Weibo site by a China-based online personality known as Pyongyang Choi Seongho - or someone posing as him/her.
The link to the December 11 Weibo post was spotted by Trevor Powell, a Chicago-based software engineer.
"The page features a background image of cartoon Kim Jong-un giving the middle finger to his people from a balcony while flanked by senior officers," Powell writes on his blog. "Given that the username is "choiseongho000", it's also likely this is simply a copycat account mooching off Pyongyang Choi Seongho's good name."
The mysterious Weibo blogger, who claims to be from North Korea, has attracted more than 850,000 followers from July last year, according to Global Times.
In his posts, Choi sarcastically praises the communist leaders of North Korea, and is also scathing about US imperialism.
Choi's posts include Kim posing as a character from the HBO series Game of Thrones along with the caption "Jealous".
A post on Thanksgiving Day stated: "Today is Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is the day for giving thanks to Kim Jong-un. The American people eat turkey to thank him. What do you people eat?"
Wen Wei Po cited the blogger as the original source of the article adding a screenshot of the post.
Powell said that all media outlets that followed-up the story were "all missing the obvious fact that the original source of the Wen Wei Po story was a tweet from a known satirist or someone posing as him/her".