Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Trump Tower Did NOT Open in Pyongyang

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 13 Jun 2018 09:13:31 Z)

Has a Trump Tower hotel opened in North Korean capital Pyongyang after the historic summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-Un? No, that's not true, this story was created by a military satire website, it is not real.

The story originated from an article published by Duffel Blog on June 12, 2018 titled "Trump Tower opens in Pyongyang" (archived here) which opened:

YONGYANG -- A Trump Tower has opened in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, in what is being hailed as a breakthrough after a historic meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

It is the first Western hotel to open in the secretive country, which is often called the "Hermit Kingdom."

"You know, they tell me this is the finest hotel in, literally, all of Asia. You can't beat it. And it serves the most delicious tacos," Trump told reporters. "Highly recommended for journalists when they go to cover the denuclearization of North Korea!"

Screenshot of https://www.duffelblog.com/2018/06/trump-hotel-of-doom/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Trump Tower opens in Pyongyang

A historic breakthrough!

But the picture was obviously photoshopped and showed the "Trump" logo pasted on a picture of the (real) Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang.

Ryugyong Hotel

This 300-meter-high skyscraper would be an imposing presence in any city's skyline. In Pyongyang, North Korea it dwarfs every other structure in sight, dominating not only the skyline but the city itself. It is North Korea's largest building, and yet it remains for the moment, unfinished.

The website Duffelblog.com is a military-themed satire website which sports following legal disclaimer on its 'about' page:


We are in no way, shape, or form, a real news outlet. Everything on this website is satirical and the content of this site is a parody of a news organization. No composition should be regarded as truthful, and no reference of an individual, company, or military unit seeks to inflict malice or emotional harm.

All characters, groups, and military units appearing in these works are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, or actual military units and companies is purely coincidental.

They are sometimes refered to as the military version of The Onion but that same 'about' page points out:

Duffel Blog is sometimes referred to as "The military version of The Onion," but this is a misnomer. The gaffe was cleared up in May 2012 when Duffel Blog staff successfully conducted an airborne assault on the offices of The Onion News Network so that others would know "The Onion was actually the civilian version of Duffel Blog."

So don't fall for any of their stories... instead, have a good laugh like the writers intended!

We wrote about duffelblog.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

About Lead Stories

Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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