London: In what can be said to be an interesting case of a joke taken too seriously, a Chinese daily declared North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as the sexiest man alive, the BBC reported.
The Chinese Communist Party`s official newspaper - The People’s Daily, in its enthusiasm to highlight the positive stories on leader of the hermit kingdom, failed to get the joke that was published in an American satirical website named the Onion.
"The Onion has named North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un as the sexiest man alive for the year 2012," declared The People’s Daily.
As per BBC reports, the Daily also went to the extent of publishing many strikingly casual pictures of Kim Jong Un, spread over no less than 55 pages to buttress the story.
The pictures show the North Korean supremo riding a horse, holding kids, doffing his hat, etc.
The pictures were supported by the tounge in cheek captions like “the Pyongyang heart-throb”, which were quoted directly from the Onion’s spoof.
The People`s Daily quotes many excerpts from the satirical article on the American spoof website, like:
"With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-born heart-throb 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."
"He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time."
An online editor for the People`s Daily said Wednesday that the photo spread would be taken offline.
"We have realized it is satirical," said the editor.
He said that he hoped the incident wouldn`t draw too much attention.
While the People`s Daily item was still up, The Onion updated the story to post a link and add a postscript: "For more coverage on The Onion`s Sexiest Man Alive 2012, Kim Jong-Un, please visit our friends at the People`s Daily in China, a proud Communist subsidiary of The Onion, Inc.
"Exemplary reportage, comrades," The Onion wrote.