The Internet had fun Tuesday at the expense of Tinder, whose social-media team did not take kindly to a recent Vanity Fair profile of the online dating app. In one of a series of tweets, Tinder claimed users in China and North Korea used the service though both countries ban Facebook, which Tinder requires in order to sign up.
In North Korea, so few people have access to the Internet that a joke spread saying Kim Jong Un, the country’s youthful leader, must be the one swiping right. But the portly dictator apparently has more important considerations on his mind. On Wednesday, South Korea’s Yonhap News Service reported that Choe Yong-gon, one of North Korea’s vice premiers, was killed in May under direct orders from the leader. Choe, last seen in public in December, was a key official who represented North Korea in trade talks with the South in the mid-2000s.
Confirming news events in North Korea—whose government rarely publicizes the deaths of key officials—is an inexact science. But if confirmed, Yong-gon would be one of more than 70 North Korean government officials to lose his life after Kim assumed control of the country following his father’s death in 2011. Most notably, in 2013 Kim had Jang Song Thaek, his uncle and the country’s second-most powerful official, killed following suspicions Jang was plotting a coup. Others have met their demise after offenses that are almost comically minor. In April, Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol was reportedly killed after falling asleep while Kim was delivering a speech. Choe, meanwhile, attracted Kim’s ire for questioning the leader’s forestry policies.