by Andy Borowitz
After North Korea's firing of a test missile over the weekend failed to garner the world headlines he had anticipated, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il raised the ante today, launching the singer Michael Jackson into the Sea of Japan.
Mr. Jackson, strapped to the side of a short-range ballistic missile, was launched at approximately 8 am and splashed down in the Sea of Japan 12 minutes later.
According to an aide to Mr. Kim, the mercurial North Korean madman was "furious" after U.S. newspapers and cable news channels virtually ignored his missile launch over the weekend to cover the "runaway bride" story instead.
"Kim came to the conclusion that the only way he could get the news media to cover his missile tests was if he could somehow involve Michael Jackson in the story," the aide said. "That's when the plan to launch Michael Jackson into the Sea of Japan was hatched."
After the North Korean government made overtures to the Jackson camp at Neverland Ranch, the two sides reached a deal in which the self-styled King of Pop would agree to be strapped to the side of the rocket if Mr. Kim would take care of the singer's mounting legal bills.
Delighted by the attention the Jackson launch has garnered, the North Korean dictator announced that this weekend he would launch Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie into the Sea of Japan.
Elsewhere, officials said that a small plane that strayed into White House airspace on Wednesday posed no real threat because Vice President Dick Cheney was out of town.
Publication date: 05/19/05