HONG KONG, Sept. 30 (UPI) -- An anti-Kim Jong Un rally was held in a Chinese city but photographs of the protest were promptly deleted by Chinese government censors, according to the Chinese-language press.
Protesters in the eastern Chinese city of Yangzhou gathered to express their opposition to North Korea's nuclear tests and to condemn the North Korean leader.
The photos then went viral on Chinese social media, Hong Kong's Apple Daily and New York-based Duowei News reported.
Yangzhou is the hometown of Jiang Zemin, who served as president from 1993 to 2003.
In images that were captured prior to their removal from the Internet, protesters were seen holding red banners that read, "Let's overthrow the Kim dynasty, and hang Kim Jong Un by the neck in an execution."
Images of the signs circulated rapidly across Weibo, a Chinese microblogging website, and on Weixin, a social networking site that allows users to send messages and share news, photos, videos and Internet links.
Chinese authorities took action as the messages went viral, according to Hong Kong media outlets. By Friday all images had become unsearchable, the report stated.
But while the images were still available online, "Chinese mainland netizens showed strong interest in the anti-North Korea rallies that were taking place in Jiang Zemin's hometown of Yangzhou," according to Apple Daily.
U.S.-based Chinese-language newspaper Duowei News stated that the removal of the pictures indicates there is a "large gap in perspective on the demonstrations between the Chinese government and the people."
Chinese commenters have previously disparaged the North Korean ruler, calling him a derogatory word that translates into "the third fat member of the Kim family," while condemning North Korea provocations.