Kim speculation triggers action by China censors

BEIJING (AP) — The speculation over just who traveled by special train from North Korea to Beijing drew a swift reaction from Chinese censors.

Searches for the term “North Korea” were blocked Tuesday while “Kim Jong Un” turned up results from several days ago on major social media platforms, including Sina’s Weibo.

China’s routine censorship of sensitive subjects online can even target words and phrases with tenuous, and even unlikely, connections.

One of those blocked Tuesday was a nickname Chinese have bestowed on the North Korean leader, Kim the Third Fatty (“Jin San Pang” in Chinese). A blocked Weibo post about Kim’s possible visit even shows a combination of three photos of a pig character in a fictional Chinese television series.

The arrival of a train in Beijing on Monday that looks like one used by Kim’s father, former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, has triggered speculation that Kim was in Beijing.