The North Korean regime routinely photoshopped images of leader Kim Jong-il to cover up dark spots on his cheeks.
A South Korean government official said Monday, "Until last year, we believed Kim Jong-il had dark spots removed from his face. But we've recently obtained a lot of evidence showing that the regime is photoshopping mugshots."
The clue was in photos of Kim in the Chinese media. A South Korean security official said, "All photos provided by the Chinese press show images of him with a face full of liver spots on his cheeks, while those released by North Korean media show a smooth skin tone."
The most conspicuous picture was shown on CCTV and features Kim in Yangzhou in the Chinese province of Jiangsu on May 23. But in a photo released on May 28 by the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency, which it claimed shows Kim inspecting Huichon Power Station, he has no liver spots on his face. Another image shows him inspecting a fish farm on June 2, again without liver spots.
But in a photo taken by a Xinhua news agency cameraman, which shows Kim meeting with Chinese official Li Yuanchao in Pyongyang on June 13, he has liver spots again.
On his July 6 visit to Sinam Cooperative Farm in North Pyongan Province, the KCNA seems to have photoshopped his skin clean again.
But in a picture released by Chinese media on July 12, he has dark spots on his face again.