S Korean soldier reprimanded over fake photo
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 19:29
Seoul: A South Korean non-commissioned officer has been suspended for three months for providing a fake photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's third son, Kim Jong Un, to a Japanese television station last month, South Korea's Defense Ministry said on Thursday.

Yonhap News Agency said the 24-year-old staff sergeant, identified only by his surname Oh, demanded about USD 1,600 for the photo which TV Asahi telecasted on air on June 10, identifying the man as Kim Jong Un.

"We believe he befriended some Japanese journalists while staying in Japan for study a few years ago," an unidentified South Korean army official was quoted by Yonhap as saying.

"He knew it was a fake photo before delivering it," the official told Yonhap.

Kim Jong Un has reportedly been chosen to become the heir to his father, who suffered a stroke last summer, according to reports.

Hours after the Japanese television station showed the photo claiming it was Kim Jong Un, Yonhap identified the man as a 40-year-old South Korean construction worker named Bae Seok Bum. A spokesman for TV Asahi said the TV station had not paid for the photo.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, July 23, 2009, 19:29

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