Nothing crazy up to now. Whether it serves to refine thighs, gain two inches or hide some wrinkles, photo editing is indeed widely used by politicians. But in North Korea, it is a very specific part of the anatomy of the dictator that the press agency targets: its ears. Kim Jung-un would indeed have a sort of outgrowth near his left cartilage, erased in his official photos, reports the site Motherboard , Wednesday June 21.
The information was first shared on Twitter by Dave Schmerler , an American researcher at the James Martin Center for Non-Proliferation Studies. On 30 May, the researcher broadcast a picture of Kim Jung-a profile, with a zoom on a kind of large button. “Sometimes we see retouched photos of Kim Jong-un, especially around his ear, I wonder if it has anything to do with it? He wondered. Jeffrey Lewis, a researcher in international politics, replied: “North Koreans tamper with Kim’s ears.”
Kim Jong Un – Kim Jong Un, Kim Jong Unknown pic.twitter.com/ggmy1yUOIn
– Dave Schmerler (@DaveSchmerler) May 30, 2017
I once told the @Middlebury board by saying the North Koreans always “fuss” with Kim’s ears. Except I did not say “fuss”. 😬 https://t.co/jxqdltkT4J
– Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) May 30, 2017
To prove their claims, the scientists used a retouch detector software, on which a series of filters can be used to locate digital anomalies. The results sent to Motherboard are convincing: on several photos, the use of a single filter reveals a concentration of yellow colors in his face, proof that this area of the image has been retouched.
So of course, as Dave Schmerler explains, it would be necessary to use several filters to arrive at substantiated conclusions. But it remains that even without retouching software, it is possible to recognize that a retouch was done at the level of the left ear in this image. Look carefully, the contours of the soldier’s military headdress in the background are blurred.
According to several dermatologists consulted by Motherboard, it could be an infection of the common skin or a cyst deeply installed in the epidermis. Anyway, Kim Jong-un can sleep quietly and continue playing to the great dictator, none of these anomalies is dangerous.