It’s a bird! It’s a tree! It’s a Kim Jong Il miracle!

North Korea’s state news agency tends to be — how to put it mildly? — a bit hyperbolic. But today’s story on the miracle outside the North Korean embassy in Berlin was really something.

A bird, the report claimed, came to the embassy’s mourning station after Kim Jong Il’s passing and stood vigil for an hour. At the same time, a tree suddenly burst into bloom, in the middle of winter, to “mourn his demise.”

I called the embassy and had a thoroughly ridiculous phone conversation, beginning with a woman who kept repeating the word “telephone” and ending with enthusiastic affirmation of the full news story by an embassy official.

My report for the LA Times is here.

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