The real Fake News
A story about the alleged assassination of Arkady Babchenko was circulated recently across the media. A week after the revelation that the Russian journalist was actually alive, another similar incident has been revealed in North Korea.
In February, 2016, another story was circulated according to which the first deputy chief of the Korean People's Army, Ri Yong Gil, was executed upon charges for factionism, abuse of authority and corruption.
Despite that the information was never confirmed by North Korea, the news were circulated among the biggest Western media.
However, now that North Korea replaces executives in higher military positions, it has been announced that Ri Yong Gil will be promoted as Chief of Staff of the Army!
Some Russian media claim that reports by defectors from North Korea frequently collapse when put under the microscope.
Part of the problem is that the South Korean government pays them large sums for sharing their stories and they're also paid hourly for talking with the media. Moreover, extra cash incentives exist for especially grotesque tales. As of 2017, Seoul's rate for such stories was $860,000 in USD.
It is not clear if or how much Thae Yong Ho, a North Korean diplomat turned defector, was paid in 2016 for telling Yonhap news agency that Ri Yong Gil was executed.