China censors 'Fatty the Third' Internet search as North Koreans visit

Elizabeth Shim
China has been censoring key search terms during a North Korean visit to Beijing. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI
China has been censoring key search terms during a North Korean visit to Beijing. File Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

March 27 (UPI) -- News of a North Korean visit to Beijing has been followed by censorship on the Chinese Internet, according to multiple reports.

On Sina Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, the word "fatty" has become unsearchable, when used in the context of the North Korean visit, South Korean news service News 1 reported.


Search terms like, "Fatty has arrived in Beijing," or "He has arrived" did not turn up results on the social media platform.

The derogatory nickname "Fatty the Third" is commonly used in China to refer to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who represents the third phase of succession in the relatively isolated regime.

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By late Tuesday the visiting North Korea delegation was not identified, but speculation swirled the visitor was Kim Jong Un, and not his sister Kim Yo Jong or Kim Yong Nam, the president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea.

The ban on the search terms contrasts with the situation Tuesday morning -- simply typing in "Korea" would turn up photographs of the visit, according to News 1.


South Korean newspaper Kukmin Ilbo reported Tuesday "Fatty the Third" also could not be searched on Baidu, China's largest Internet portal.

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All articles referring to a possible "Kim Jong Un visit" were not searchable, the report stated.

The Chinese government has not released information on the mysterious visit that has been met with heightened security in central Beijing and near the North Korean Embassy.

"Because the Chinese authorities are reluctant to disclose their activities, they are controlling the state media and the Internet," a Beijing-based source told the Kukmin on Tuesday.

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The North Korean delegation arrived in an armored train late Monday then was accompanied by personnel traveling in 10 black sedans, three vans, three minibuses and an ambulance, according to South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo.

The last visit to China from members of North Korea's top leadership, excluding ministry and Workers' Party personnel, took place in August 2012, when Kim Jong Un's uncle-in-law Jang Song Taek visited Beijing.

Jang was sentenced to death in 2013 for alleged treason and corruption.

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