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NYTimes Mistakenly Cites Tweet From North Korea Parody Account

Management at the New York Times is planning to lay off half of the copy editors on staff – a decision that provoked a walkout at the NYT’s Times Square headquarters last week. But after an embarrassing editing error risked starting World War III, we’re thinking they might want to reconsider – at least until tensions cool between the US and North Korea.

As the Washington Free Beacon pointed out, the Times cited a tweet from a North Korean parody account as if it were an official statement from the DPRK’s government. The tweet reads: "Imbecilic Americans drunkenly fire missiles into East Sea of Korea, demonstrating near total ignorance of ballistic science."

Imbecilic Americans drunkenly fire missiles into East Sea of Korea, demonstrating near total ignorance of ballistic science. pic.twitter.com/Yye1Kksvh7

— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News)

The tweet was included in a story about a joint military exercise involving the US and South Korea in response to the DPRK’s first-ever launch of a genuine ICBM.

The story has since been updated with a correction: "Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article attributed incorrectly a Twitter statement to the North Korean government," it read. There are likely to be even more “editing errors” like this one when the paper chops its editing staff in half. Typically, employing half the number of people to handle the same amount of work will result in more errors.

The DPRK parody account couldn’t resist poking fun at the Times.

Ministry of Culture bans New York Times.

— DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News)

Of course, the NYT – along with virtually every other western publication – has been banned from the DPRK for years.

The Times isn’t the only national newspaper that missed the joke. USA Today fell for the account in March, erroneously reporting that the North Korean government called Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) an "infantile lunatic angrily soiling himself."

With the editor layoffs looming on the horizon, we look forward to many more embarrassing mistakes like this one in the months and years ahead. Maybe someone should explain to the NYT’s editing staff the significance of being “Twitter verified.”

For his part, North Korean Kim Jong-Un has said he is "firmly determined and committed" to test an ICBM that can hit the U.S. mainland within this year. Providing some more details on yesterday's launch, Kim also said that the US must be upset with "gift package" that he sent in honor of America’s Independence Day.