NY Times Withdraws Suspect North Korean Photo

Posted December 29th, 2011 at 1:20 pm (UTC-5)
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The New York Times says it has withdrawn an official North Korean photograph of the funeral procession for the late leader Kim Jong Il, after experts determined it had been digitally altered.

The Times reported the withdrawal Thursday, saying the suspect photo was taken by Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency and distributed by a European news agency. The newspaper quotes experts as saying the photo was altered using Photoshop software to remove images of six people standing out of formation behind a near-perfectly aligned phalanx of mourners.

The newspaper quotes its analysts and experts at Dartmouth College as saying a photo taken by Japan's Kyodo news agency at nearly the same moment as the KCNA photo revealed the discrepancy. The Kyodo photo showed the six people standing casually behind rigid rows of mourners, while the six were not present in the North Korean photo.

The Times, in a published account, speculated that North Korean censors may have erased the six people to create the illusion of martial perfection at the procession. Pyongyang has not commented on the discrepancy.