Kim Jong-Un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Recently, North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un "climbed" Mt Paektu, the country's tallest mountain. The mountain is an important place, so Kim Jong-un's visit is very much a photo opportunity. A propaganda one too.

What better way to show that the leader is connected to the country's ruling elite and has gotten over that limp than by having him climb 2700m? In the snow. With no hat. And a fancy hairdo.

Never mind that his shoes appear clean and polished and not caked with snow.

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

via Joins

Look at him and his hair battle the elements!

In South Korea, numerous major news outlets ( here, here, and here, for example) have been pointing to one image in particular that, some allege, looks Photoshopped. That's unconfirmed. What is confirmed is that the photo does look strange.

Here is the photo in question:

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: KCNA

The assumption is that the soldiers in the back are standing on a rock? Let's get a closer look at the specific part that is raising red flags (pun totally intended).

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: KCNA

On one side, there appears to a soldier's hand propping up a soldier that is standing on something. This apparently looks cropped.

In the group that is elevated, the spaces between the soldiers' legs are totally white, and we cannot see the legs of the soldiers behind them. We can see the volcanic crater in the background. Also, if they are standing on a rock, we cannot see that, either.

The shape of whatever they are standing on is most peculiar. The soldiers in the back are piled up on who-knows-what. It's like they're suspended in air. Maybe they're not. Maybe they're standing on a funny-shaped rock. Maybe they're standing on other soldiers. I just hope jetpacks are involved.

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: MBN

This is a rather odd photo! No wonder it's made the TV news in South Korea (above), with the question being whether that the image might have been altered in some way.

Here is a wide shot that shows you the kind of rocks that apparently can be found on this summit.

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: KCNA

There are other photos in the set that do look more natural — as natural as a dictator surrounded by his loyal followers can look.

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: KCNA

But, in those photos, you don't get a view of the mountains in the background.

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Picture: KCNA

You do get Kim Jong-un sitting in the snow.

In case you are interested in the photo forensic data, here is how the image looks when run through FotoForensics.com. (Website ImageEdited.com said it "couldn't tell" if the pic was Photoshopped.)

Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports
Kim Jong-un Photo Allegedly Photoshopped, South Korean News Reports

Over the years, North Korea has been infamous for its Photoshops — many of them not very good.

If this is a Photoshop, it might be one of the better ones. If it's just a photo, it's a goofy one at that.


Comments

    It's probably real, you conspiracy theorists. But possible that they took him up in a helicopter and he only 'climbed' 100m or something.

    This lot at the back I find looking more funny than the rest:
    http://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/t_original/afymr1ynaslofqfgpufi.jpg

    Especially the guys with their hands in the air makes them look brushed onto the
    background on an angle. It's like they are all about to fall over, but smiling while doing so.

    It is quite possible looking at the guys in the back that their legs are either side of the gap between the other guys legs.

    Pretty much any image from N-Korea is scrutinized for photoshopping. Just like that last set of images showcases military beach landings with a group of hovercrafts.

    I'm a professional graphic editor with more than 15 years of experience, some pictures can be easily mistaken as shopped. Especially when you look at those pictures with prejudice presumption. Factors like lens's angle, pixel defect, camera's auto sharpness, auto exposure, built in softening and noise reduction filters and etc. Halo around edges is very common. Ask any photographer they will tell you the same. And from my professional judgment, those pictures look convincing enough. It's impossible to tell either if they were shopped or not without high resolution file.

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