A young South Korean soldier has been punished for selling a fake photo of the son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, a report said on. Japan’s TV Asahi in June aired what it called an exclusive image of Kim Jong-Un, thought to be the likeliest successor to his father.
It retracted its report after the picture turned out to be that of a South Korean construction worker. It said at the time its source for the photo was a “reliable person in South Korea.”
A 24-year-old staff sergeant, identified by his surname Oh, demanded USD 1,600 for the photo, Yonhap news agency on Thursday quoted an unidentified army official as saying.
The official said Oh has been hit with a three-month suspension from duty.
“We believe he befriended some Japanese journalists while staying in Japan for study a few years ago,” the official said. “He knew it was a fake photo before delivering it.”
Oh escaped a tougher penalty because his act was not a breach of military security, the official said. “It was a scam perpetrated at an individual level.”
International media know little about Jong-Un, Kim’s youngest son -- who was reportedly schooled in Switzerland -- and have only shown his childhood photograph.