Almost as much as North Korea loves missiles and marching, the rogue nation apparently loves photo manipulation software. But hey, who doesn't?
Maybe North Korea uses Photoshop. Maybe the country even paid for its copy! Or maybe the military has its own magical software to use with a super computer. It's probably a state secret.
North Korean state media released the image in question, but as Taylor explained: "Two hovercraft crashing through the surf, nearest to the photographer, appear to be just a single hovercraft, with a digital twin copied and pasted nearby. Two of the more distant craft appear to be digital twins as well. A third vehicle in the scene has some of the hallmarks of digital pasting, including color mismatch, a slight halo, and soft edges." (Note: The Atlantic added the colored shapes, of course, in the above image.)
But this is hardly a first. North Korea, it seems, has a long, proud history of Photoshop.
Under the reign of Kim Jong-un's father, Kim Jong-il, the country was famous for its photo doctoring...skills. This is propaganda, you say! What do you expect? Well, I expect better 'shops!
Here is a look back at some of the high points (low points?) of possible North Korean Photoshops over the years, whether that's adding food, livestock, or a then sickly Kim Jong-il to photos.
While these certainly look suspect, the top image is completely real. It's not a Photoshop, and Jesus Diaz at sister site Gizmodo did not do it. It's real, just like the unicorn lair North Korea discovered.
Now, if only North Korea could get into GIFs...
In case you missed it, here's a very helpful North Korean Photoshop tutorial.
Is This North Korean Hovercraft-Landing Photo Faked? [The Atlantic]
Tea Cup [init.]
Power Struggle [National Post]
AP withdraws North Korean flooding photo, saying it was altered [Washington Post]
(Top photo: Not a Photoshop by Jesus Diaz)
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