Onion joke on Kim Jong Un leaves China daily red faced
Editors at China's top newspaper have been left red faced after declaring North Korean leader Kim Jong Un the "sexiest man alive", the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
The People's Daily ran a series of striking photos of their neigbouring country's young leader to accompany news of the award - a hoax gong handed out by US satirical website The Onion.
"The Onion has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as the sexiest man alive for the year 2012," declared the paper.
The award is a trademark hoax by the popular Onion website but the heavily tongue in cheek story failed to register a smirk with Chinese editors, who are keen to report positive stories about the hermit leader who runs China's fellow communist neighbour.
"With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."
"Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile," the paper wrote, copying word for word the joke website.
"He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time," said Marissa Blake-Zweiber, editor of The Onion Style and Entertainment.
But the joke description met with eager approval in China.