back to article Pyongyang Photoshop tomfoolery shows wet Norks, skirts blown up

North Korea's official press agency has been caught with its hands in the Photoshop copy-and-paste jar, in a hopelessly bodged attempt to big up the amphibious-landing capability of the country's hovercraft. A couple of days ago, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released a snap showing operations by the KPA (Korean People …


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  1. Colin Miller

    Pyongyang Photoshop patent prank portrays wet People's Army.


    1. Shagbag

      Inferior armed forces

      The only reason I can think of as to why they would do this would be to give a false impression of their military strength.

      Sure, they have the bomb and they may be crazy enough to use it. But photoshoping crap like this just reminds me of Iraq going into Gulf War I. And we now know what the situation actually was.

      1. Psyx

        Re: Inferior armed forces

        "The only reason I can think of as to why they would do this would be to give a false impression of their military strength."

        Errr... no.

        They do it to give *their own people* a false impression of their might.

        The frightening thing isn't their aggressive stance, nor their massive, massive military and spending. The frightening thing is that if it does come down to it, we'll essentially be slaughtering millions of poor bastards who totally don't deserve it and just happen to have been born as males in a bat-shit nation.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Massive military might and spending?

          oh lol, now you're falling for it too!

          1. M Gale

            Re: Massive military might and spending?

            I do believe the words used were "Massive military", not "Massive military might".

            Three million round-heads with horses and longbows would be a massive military. Wouldn't exactly last long against one person and a suitably stocked GAU-8 though.


            Oh I'm sorry, was that your entire army? I didn't notice.

          2. Psyx

            Re: Massive military might and spending?

            "Massive military might and spending? oh lol, now you're falling for it too!"

            Don't be absurd. Look at the GDP that they spend on defence, and ponder just for a second the entire 'military first' self-stated priority of the government.

      2. Ted Treen

        Re: Inferior armed forces

        Don't forget that the DPRK always escalates...

        They had:-

        Kim Jong Il

        followed by:-

        Kim Jong very Il

        ending with:

        Kim Jong Dead...

    2. LarsG

      Utterly, totally, absolutely


      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Utterly, totally, absolutely


        Cost of 2 new BAe aircraft carriers = £££££

        Enough US super stealth ninja aircraft for half of them = £££££££

        Military value of aircraft based ninja stealth air superiority dog fighters in war on terror = 27p


        Cost of pirate download of photoshop = 0

        Cost of blank DVD to burn it to = 27p

        Military value of image in war on great whoever = 0

    3. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      Re: Pyongyang Photoshop patent prank portrays wet People's Army.

      The video is possibly some of the worst, mind-numbing propaganda efforts ever. I can imagine Goebbels shaking his head in disapproval.

      But the photo..... Well I'm convinced.... RUN! THE NORKS ARE COMING!

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Pyongyang Photoshop patent prank portrays wet People's Army.

        After crossing the pacific in a hovercraft I await their arrival with amusement. I would give better odds on Flintoff making it in a pedalo, especially if Tuffers is doing the map reading.

  2. Rampant Spaniel

    If you zoom in close enough you can see they're powered by two chinese knockoff dysons and a deskfan.

    I do feel somewhat sorry for the poor sods in NK.

  3. Daleus
    Thumb Up

    North Korea is best Korea!

    Nice to see North Korea are making great use of those CS2 licences Adobe 'didn't release'.

  4. MJI Silver badge

    Wrong music

    Should have used I'm so ronery

  5. Richard 120

    Good effort

    I think they've done a better job than the Iranian efforts, at least they've made a reasonable attempt at resizing the craft and modifying the wake so it's not as bleedin obvious.

    Is there some kind of awards for govt propaganda photoshop fails? If not then there should be.

    1. ElNumbre

      Re: Good effort

      Yeah - i've seen worse 'shops from Beauty magazines. That's quite a good effort considering the lack of US technology* they have at their disposal.

      *except that which may have been smuggled in from friendly nations.

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Good effort

      The UK's best effort is the frankly pitiful faking of James Purnell's presence at a hospital opening:

      Maybe that would read better as 'the faking of the frankly pitiful James Purnell'?

  6. David Webb

    Space programme

    Did the nice chaps from NK sign up Top Gear to run their space programme after they saw the amazing ability of firing a Robin Reliant into err, almost space showed them that a tall, balding old bloke with no useful technical abilities, a procrastinating old guy with a desire to be a mans man and a short bloke with whitened teeth and dyed hair (allegedly) could launch a rocket further than NK can manage?

    1. sabba

      Re: Space programme

      On that note. How's our, and by that I mean the UK's, space programme coming along?

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Space programme

        On a par with the yanks :-) Both using the friendly Russian taxi service.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Space programme

        "On that note. How's our, and by that I mean the UK's, space programme coming along?"

        If you mean rockets, it ended in the early 70's after successfully putting a satellite into orbit. At which point it was realised that reinventing the wheel was an expensive and somewhat pointless process since defence needs could be met by cheaply renting from the Americans and any hope for return on rocket R&D investment via commercial ventures was ablated by the need to rent launch sites from other nations on the other side of the planet.

        If you mean the hi-tech profitable stuff such as advanced satellites and reusable space planes, then the answer is 'splendidly'.

  7. The Axe


    Looks like North Korea is starting to believe it's own hype. Oh well, let them start a battle. They'll lose, the leaders will be deposed, and the people will rise up. A few people will get killed in the process.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Groupthink

      About 50 000 to 100 000 to be exact'ish in the first 10 minutes as the norks guns make short work of Seoul and the surrounding area.

      If the norks are stupid enough to use chemical/bio/nukes then the number of dead will reach into the millions and make WW2 look like a childrens tea party.

      Bet then I bet the norks are being egged on by Apple... "go on.. take out the Samsung HQ... you know you want to"

      1. Turtle

        @Boris the Cockroach

        " I bet the norks are being egged on by Apple... 'go on.. take out the Samsung HQ... you know you want to'"

        It's not funny. But I did laugh.

    2. JimC

      Re: a few people will get killed

      A lot of people in fact. My father was involved last time in the 50s. A number of his shipmates didn't come back. A lot of NK soldiers, soldiers disguised as peasants and peasants he bombed and shot up didn't come back either (there being no difference between an oxcart carrying ammunition and an oxcart carrying rice from a few hundred feet up in the air).

      However even though they lost none of the NK leaders were deposed and the people didn't rise up. I find it hard to look on it quite as flippantly as you do.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: a few people will get killed

        In the Korean war we (the good guys) only killed about 25% of the population of N Korea - I'm sure we can do better this time.

      2. ChrisBedford

        Re: a few people will get killed - They lost?

        That's an interesting interpretation of history that I haven't read before. The more commonly accepted version is that no-one lost, and certainly no-one "won".

  8. ForthIsNotDead

    Is it me?

    I'm not seeing it? Where's the fakery? I'm not being facitious - I'm genuinely not seeing it. Could someone please spell it out for me. Sorry for being so slwo :-(

    1. tony

      Re: Is it me?

      You need to have a look at the pixels.

      1. Mage Silver badge

        Re: Is it me?

        Amazingly the pixels are all the same size.

        1. tony

          Re: Is it me?

          Might be because I've seen a few shops in my time.

    2. ukgnome

      Re: Is it me?

      Rightyho, - do you see all those hovercraft?

      You do, excellent, now can you see the identical hovercraft?

      You can, excellent, now can see you they are totally identical?

      You can't?

      Maybe you need to look at this "how to" -

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Is it me?

      The way the flag above the cockpit is identical on the two craft just approaching the beach was the give-away for me.

    4. Marshalltown

      Re: Is it me?

      There a number of things to note. For instance, not all the hover craft have any wake. There are also some retouch halos that indicate someone was manipulating the appearance of the of the spray thrown up by the HCs. The there's the giant Wookie standing near the farther HC on the beach.

  9. envmod

    i can't see the obvious fakery either

    but even if it is real, so they've got 8 hovercrafts (allegedly) - who cares? it's hardly worrying...

    1. hplasm

      Re: i can't see the obvious fakery either

      second wave (clone of clones brush) has 16 hovercraft. And so on.

      That's a lot of eels!

      1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
        Thumb Up

        Re: That's a lot of eels!

        Stealthiest Monty Python link of the decade, methinks.

        My nipples explode with delight!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i can't see the obvious fakery either

      "but even if it is real, so they've got 8 hovercrafts (allegedly) - who cares? it's hardly worrying..."

      How about now? More worried yet? Glorious enough yet?

      (This one's free, Un...)

  10. Jason Hindle Silver badge

    Are you sure it's Photoshop?

    If they're adhering to the principles of the Great Leader's Juche Idea, surely the free peoples of the Democratic North must be using a home grown image editor?

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

      It's true. We'll be running a review of "Most Glorious Kim Jong Il 사진Shop" in due course.

      1. Thomas 4

        Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

        If this doesn't happen I will be bitterly disappointed.

      2. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

        10 quid says they just forked the gimp ;-)

        1. Fibbles

          Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

          "10 quid says they just forked the gimp"

          Yup, although now it stands for Glorious Image Manipulation Program. Say what you like about communist dictatorships but they do have a wonderful flare for the dramatic.

          1. Rampant Spaniel

            Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?


            So basically the Norks are the Marks and Spencer of dictatorships ? :) NK isn't just a totalitarian dictatorship, its a glorious organic totalitarian dictatorship.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

          "10 quid says they just forked the gimp ;-) "

          Woah, at most clubs you have to pay *way* more than 10 quid to fork the gimp!

          Umm, at least that's what a friend told me!

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            @ Anon Coward -- 28th March 2013 18:11Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

            Post of the week!

            <-- Here...Have one on me

    2. David Pollard

      Re: Are you sure it's Photoshop?

      It's that Dove software again, telling it like it really is.

  11. bitmap animal
    Thumb Down

    Shock horror - military equipment looks the same!! Does that mean the Red Arrows are faked using Photoshop, they look the same from that distance, and they all move as one often so the tricksters have a brush with nine planes on it and just wave that around.

    I haven't pixel-peeked but the water around each of them does appear to be different, a couple of them have different superstructures and that assault isn't that large. Had there been 300 craft all with identical water spray coming off them that may have been a clue.

    1. Thomas 4

      It's true

      Last time I saw them at the Farnborough Air Show, the resolution on the fourth plane was off and had a couple of dead pixels next to it.

    2. peyton?

      What about flags?

      Not as likely to be identical, what with the wind and ocean spray and all. Could be one of those Neil Armstrong flags I guess.

      To be honest though, if you zoom in on the one craft, I think photoshop cloning is the preferable answer to the alternative: that the front of the hovercraft really *is* dissolving into the ocean.

  12. James Pickett

    So how many hovercraft do they own - two?

    1. hplasm


      A big one and a slightly smaller but otherwise identical one.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Yes

        Probably none, they just scanned an images from Janes and pasted it over their rowing boats.

        1. Ivan Headache

          Re: Re: Yes

          Jane lives next door and she doesn't have an hovercrafts.

        2. Psyx

          Re: Yes

          Quite a few, actually. And a big-ass base or two to keep them. They view them as a viable tool for operations against SK coastal islands and locations.

    2. JimC

      That's what's so odd

      From what I hear they have more than enough of them to be able to set up that sort of shot.

      I suspect that what we are seeing here is just a lazy PR man making the photo look a bit better - a PR man who is probably now doing an in depth investigation of re-education camps. As forgery goes its just too trivial. Cock up, not conspiracy.

      Goodness knows I've done the same thing myself a few times, when none of the photos I've got look half decent for a web report I've been known to get a bitmap editor out and recreate the photo I'm sure I would have taken had I pressed the damn button at the right moment.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Does anybody else wonder if, once the (hopefully non-radioactive) dust settles, if we will find that all the North Korean food supplies have been contaminated with ergot fungus, and this nonsensical North Korean behavior all was the product of an unintentional acid trip?

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Ergot

      What food supplies?

  14. Schultz

    Who can tell...

    whether they invented this amazing cloning technology in photoshop or in real life? Or maybe it's some holographic projection technology to misguide defensive armament?

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. magrathea

      Re: with two identical hovercraft

      I agree..Identical objects in an identical lighting situation, seen from an identical angle, several hundred yards away are going to look pretty well identical.

  16. Primus Secundus Tertius

    Other photshoppers

    I thought the most prolific photoshopper was "America's finest news source" - aka The Onion.

  17. DS 1


    The problem is that we always assume equality. IE - people here may think that its obviously photoshopped and chopped and this erodes the propaganda. It does, but the audience of this garbage may not be nearly so well educated. They may well absorb it all as lore.

    The question isn't really being answered by anyone. We know they are a stupid regime. Are we stupid enough to plan for them not_to smart things? I'm half expecting bad news any day anout NK doing something very very dumb. What then? Because history tends to show that appeasing such acts only leads to very much larger problems.

    If they did attack okinawa - and wreck the Americans there, what then? More sabre rattling? Serious talks with the Chinese? Personally my own view here is its too late for friendly diplomacy. The chinese need to be told 'You sheltered and protected these nut jobs, - if they attack, you will be held accountable" and follow it with some nuke armed subs pointed in china's direction. And a back channel of 'they make one step and you are glass''.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Err... That video?

    What, actually, were we supposed to be watching?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I love the naive American patronism on here. 'Those poor Norks, how they are misled by photoshopped propoganda!' And yet those same US citizens probably really do think they come from the land of the free. :)

    1. Fibbles

      Some of the probably do do, but those Americans that don't believe the propaganda aren't likely to be shot because of it...

    2. Kevin 6

      Well I tell people all the time the US is not the land of the free anymore, but at least I don't have to eat tree bark as a meal due to the government screwing us over (yet at least...)

  20. Herby

    Comedy relief.

    Not much more from those in the north.

    You just gotta smile and laugh.

  21. Lghost

    They have been cloning their hair for years..

    They ( and most of the Chinese politicians ) have always had the same bad Elvis impersonator hair..

    Predates photoshop..possibly that hair is what happens if you started in the 1950s, using Grecian 2000 at age 12 ?

    I have this fantasy when ever I see large numbers of Chinese or NK politicos that they'll all begin running about and break into song like Sha Na Na :)

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Lies, damed lies, statistics and Photoshop!!!

    With apologies to Mark Twain.....

  23. SirDigalot

    the sad thing is..

    the 20 or so people who have electricity and a working TV will believe this..

    (it was 21 but the last person apparently laughed at one point and was sent for some intense training in order to perform his job better...he was never heard from again)

  24. Rampant Spaniel

    Speaking of photos of Norks

    Check out the bbc news front page. They have a picture of some Nork brass stood behind their glorious smurf emperor. I kind of recognize the FFL style cap on two guys but whats with the other style of caps? Is that style unique to Norks? I think they are army (as opposed to navy \ airforce).

    I think this is the link

  25. MeRp

    Holy sweet mother of Jesus

    They got to get a handle on that crack problem in North Korea.

    Oh, you're saying these weren't produced by people smoking some tainted crack cut with draino and LSD? Well, ok.

  26. Jan 0 Silver badge

    Let's get Retro

    I'm so looking forward to being labelled a "running dog capitalist imperialist" again, a phrase I miss from the 1950s and the first US/Korean war. I mean, I want to hear rants about re-education, the purity of proletarian revolution and that I'm just a tool of capitalist gain. Why is the American ruling circle busily expanding armament, disregarding the hardship and misery of the people? Is it because their only concern is war and war profits and not peace and peaceful construction?

    Holy "Tow shong", Batman. Come back Mao, all is forgiven!

  27. Local G

    Boy, am I glad we don't get any phony baloney propaganda in the West.

    ..........Dow Jones Industrial Average

    Dow Jones Indices: .DJI - Mar 28 4:36pm ET

    14578.54+52.38 (0.36%)

    Wow, another all-time high! The economy must really be awesome.

  28. silent_count

    Back to the future

    OBVIOUSLY faked! They shoulda hired the yanks who faked the moon landing - at least their fakery is harder to detect.

    PS: I'm mildly amused by the notion of Adobe sending lawyers to Pyongyang and trying to prosecute the government for using an unlicensed copy of Photoshop. What could possibly go wrong?

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