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Chinese State-Run Newspaper Falls for Fake Story Naming Kim Jong-un as 'Sexiest Man Alive' in 2012

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"With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true."

The People's Daily Online, the online version of China's Communist Party newspaper, on Tuesday congratulated North Korea’s potbellied despot Kim Jong-un for being named the “Sexiest Man Alive for 2012” by -- the Onion.

Yes, the Onion:

For those of you who don’t understand why this is so funny, the Onion is not an actual news agency. It's a comedy site. They do satire. Lots of it.

"With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true. Blessed with an air of power that masks an unmistakable cute, cuddly side, Kim made this newspaper's editorial board swoon with his impeccable fashion sense, chic short hairstyle, and, of course, that famous smile," the Onion article reads.

"He has that rare ability to somehow be completely adorable and completely macho at the same time," the article adds.

Seriously, did the folks at the People’s Daily Online really think that this was a legitimate U.S. news report? The Chinese newspaper even included a 55-page photo spread of Jong-un to go with their article (of course the photos are of him looking at things)!

What really makes this story hilarious is the fact that the original Onion article included a list of previous "Sexiest Man Alive" winners: Bashar al-Assad (2011), Bernie Madoff (2010), co-winner Charles and David Koch (2009), and Ted "The Unabomber" Kaczynski (2008).

If past winners include Ted Kaczynski and Bashar al-Assad, either the People's Daily didn’t do any research on their article (shocker!), they have a great sense of humor, or they think Americans, particularly those writing for the Onion, have a truly bizarre understanding of “sexy.”

But maybe we should give the communist newspaper a break. After all, it's not like this is the first time a news agency has fallen for an Onion article.

“In 2002, the Beijing Evening News, one of the capital city's biggest tabloids at the time, published as news the fictional account that the U.S. Congress wanted a new building and that it might leave Washington. The Onion article was a spoof of the way sports teams threaten to leave cities in order to get new stadiums,” the Associated Press notes.

“Two months ago, Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency reprinted a story from The Onion about a supposed survey showing that most rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than President Barack Obama,” the report adds.

(Getty Images)

The fake Ahmadinejad article even included a quote from a nonexistent West Virginia resident saying he'd rather go to a baseball game with Ahmadinejad because "he takes national defense seriously."

Hell, even U.S. news agencies have fallen for Onion “reports.” Remember when MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow actually thought Sarah Palin was calling for a U.S.-led invasion of Egypt? We sure do.

We’re still laughing.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

(H/T: BuzzFeed). Front page photo courtesy Getty Images.

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