China salutes Kim Jong-un, The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive

When a satirical US website chose it's Sexiest Man, they weren't expecting China to take it seriously

LAST UPDATED AT 16:03 ON Tue 27 Nov 2012

A SPOOF article naming North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as The Sexiest Man Alive has been hailed by the online version of China's Communist Party newspaper.

The article posted on the satirical US website The Onion waxes lyrical about Kim's "devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame". Editors at The Onion "swooned" at the sight of his impeccable fashion sense, "chic short hairstyle" and "famous smile".

The piece is clearly a joke, particularly since The Onion lists previous winners of its Sexiest Man award as the jailed financier Bernie Madoff and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Sadly, the gag was lost in translation at China's The People's Daily which today ran a 55-page photo spread on its website celebrating the round-faced North Korean leader's new accolade, Slate reports. Under the headline ‘North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012' the reverential picture spread includes images of Kim on horseback, squinting into the light and touring a facility with his wife.

Slate points out the lavish Chinese editorial outdoes The Onion which promises a "full 16-page spread" on its favourite North Korean hunk.

To be fair, The Onion's report does read like any other hyperbolic article in the entertainment press. It even quotes the editor of its style and entertainment section, Marissa Blake-Zweiber, saying of Kim: "He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time. Ri Sol-ju [Kim's new wife] is one lucky lady, that's for sure!"

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