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Fake North Korean Tweet Calls Netanyahu a ‘Criminal’ and ‘Liar’

(JTA) — A fake tweet calling Israel’s prime minister a “stinking Zionist” nearly led to an international incident with North Korea in the hours before the historic summit between its leader, Kim Jong Un, and President Donald Trump.

The fake tweet appeared Monday on an account bearing the name of North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-Ho, and called Benjamin Netanyahu a “criminal/liar.” It also said of Netanyahu, “He can’t be bothered giving water to Gaza; he kills them instead.”

The tweet reportedly also accused Israel of trying to sabotage Tuesday’s summit in Singapore between Trump and Kim.

Before being exposed as a fake account, which reportedly only had 2,000 followers and did not bear a verification badge, the tweet led an Israeli spokesman to respond with his own tweet.

The North Korean account is no longer available on Twitter.

The Twitter exchange came as Kim and Trump arrived in Singapore for the early Tuesday morning meeting. Photos of their first handshake were broadcast on media around the world.

Alyssa Fisher is a news writer at the Forward. Email her at fisher@forward.com, or follow her on Twitter at @alyssalfisher

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