REPORTING FROM BERLIN -- Kim Jong Il’s death last month reverberated around the world, so much so that even the birds and flowers of faraway Berlin mourned the passing of the Supreme Leader, the North Korean state news agency was moved to report Thursday.
The Korean Central News Agency said Thursday on its English-language website that a titmouse settled at the entrance to the North Korean Embassy on Dec. 20, the day after Kim's death was announced, and pecked at the glass. “Witnesses said: It was a rare phenomenon which was not observed before."
That's not all: "It seemed that upon hearing the sad news of the demise of the outstanding great man, the bird flew to the mourning station to express condolences and flew away after standing vigil."
But wait -- there's more! An Asian fruit tree on the embassy grounds "came into bloom in such cold winter day in token of mourning his demise," the report declared.
An embassy official contacted Thursday said it was all true.
“The embassy people saw it,” said the official, who declined to give his name or title. “I saw it. I took a photo. I can prove it!”
Asked whether all the details in the news report were correct, he exclaimed: “Yes, of course!”
This is not the first time that North Korean media have reported birds grieving Kim’s death; there were also accounts of mourning owls and cranes, as well as a thunderous cracking of ice at Kim’s alleged birthplace, the sacred Mt. Paekdu.
It was unclear whether the titmouse expressed his condolences in German or Korean.
-- Aaron Wiener
Photo: North Koreans in Pyongyang express deep condolences Dec. 20 over the death of leader Kim Jong Il. Credit: KCNA / EPA