Kim Jong Un’s Magical Airbrush

Before and after pictures where you see Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Un's purged uncle, and then you don't

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After having his uncle — and longtime regime insider — Jang Song Thaek executed earlier this month, Kim Jong Un’s totalitarian state has set about purging any historical trace of the “traitor” Jang. In the 21st century, Stalinist airbrushing may be one of the more futile, anachronistic measures in a despot’s toolkit. But Kim’s North Korea is a land apart and thousands of government documents and photographs have been removed from the Internet, presumably so that references to Jang can be erased. TIME presents three instances here of Kim’s airbrush at work.

NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
Ministry of Unification / AFP / Getty Images

A scene from the documentary “The Great Comrade” on North Korean state broadcaster KCTV.

NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
Ministry of Unification / AFP / Getty Images

A scene from the documentary “The Great Comrade” on North Korean state broadcaster KCTV.

NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
NKOREA-SKOREA-POLITICS-MILITARY-KIM
Ministry of Unification / AFP / Getty Images

A scene from the documentary “The Great Comrade” on North Korean state broadcaster KCTV.

316 comments
Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Well, he was condemned for beng corrupt, in a judgement. Justice for all, even if you are politician.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Study about the Cold War and about what the word "propaganda" means, then we talk again. I'm based in a lot o lies that they told that were proved to be lies by a lot of sources, and not "only the north-korean government". Like the thing about Russia that I said, or the thing of the ex-girlfriend that "was executed", or that women are prohibited to ride a bike in North Korea, what tourists, that are not communist, proved to be false, or that christians are pesecuted in North Korea, and tourists, again, proved that it was another lie. And I have more. So, how can you trust someone who lies? Can't you see what happens here with information? Seriously, your opinion is based what Globo and Veja tells you? Why do you think that they are different than TIME? I've seen lies of them too, and that's why I don't form my opiniom with them. With TIME is the same thing. If "El Mundo", and that is not even the source of the articles that were criticized, and "TIME" tells the same thing, and one of them is lying, what does it mean? If A = B and B is false, then A is false! Can't you understand that? There is a word that I used: Also. "And, in the link I posted, they show the same kind of article that TIME publicates, ALSO, they use exactly the exemple of Kim Jong Un's uncle. "El Mundo" and TIME say the same thing." Besides of that, we can get to the conclusion, by the way that people say things, of what they think, what they defend, easily. So, don't be so ingenue. Like I said, they lie about every communist, and socialist country, and I can't prove that TIME recieve money to make their articles, but, based in all that I said, it makes more sense that "North Korea" being "bad". Also, it's known that companies respond to the interestes of the governments, and that the governments are made by those who respond to companies interests. Like what happened with NSA, that would pay to a lot of companies around the world to recieve information. Why can't it happen with journals? To distribue information? Who do you think that are the owners of those companies? In the Cold War, a lot of companies recieved a lot of money to be against socialist contries, or their owners were against communism, and that is well known. It never ended. There are still embargos against each country that fight against the US external and imperialist policy. There is still a propaganda against those countries, and who distribue those propaganda (a lot of them are the same of the Cold War) make the same kind of articles, that were proved to be false a lot of times. TIME is one of them, and I'm not saying that just beacause of this article, were is clear the way that they are manipulating the information. "Traitor"... Why not tell he was condemned for corruption? Also, I doubt that any those companies that I'm always saying that doesn't care telling the truth, even here, wouldn't make an article if you payed them to. It's bussines.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

"TIME sells what they are told to sell" - Based on what have you said this? I know that in comunism these companies are destroyed, but what would be against their interest about that? The system in North Korea doesn't make no difference to TIME'S profit, so, what would be "against their interest"? How can you say that they tell "half truths"?? Do you know the whole truth?? Or do you only know the version of the government?? Wait a minute, you're judging TIME because they publish "the same kind of article" of El Mundo? Are you talking about the content or the design?

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

And TIME is not well documented, the articles tell half truths. Like the "traitor" thing. And, in the link I posted, they show the same kind of article that TIME publicates, also, they use exactly the exemple of Kim Jong Un's uncle. "El Mundo" and TIME say the same thing.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

I would be happy if they wouldn't read TIME. If people didn't read Veja, here, I would be happy too. TIME sells what they are told to sell, that's it, and, in communism, all those big and private companies are destroyed. It's directly against their interests.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

Man, how did we get this far? kkkk Ok, fine, Cuba is a paradise. Returning to North Korea: Actually, I haven't found a reason not to trust TIME, have you? Even in the link you just posted, the sources are pretty much only "El Mundo" and other spanish journals. If you're only judging TIME because it is also a part of the western media, I guess that's a little prejudice, don't you think? TIME is also well documented and, at least for me, very reliable! Another thing I couldn't understand: what about comunism/socialism in North Korea is against TIME interest?? I thought that their interest were only earning money by getting a good amount of readers... What, in the system of government in North Korea, would be against that? I don't think north koreans read TIME, do you?

JingDai
JingDai

The greater power leads to the more serious corruption! History of thousands of years has proved the eternal truth!

Joe Robinson
Joe Robinson

What a pleasant place. I think I'll plan my next, maybe last vacation there. lol

Shao Harry
Shao Harry

Today's north Korea is 1960's china.

Melanie Kwan
Melanie Kwan

that fat dude needs to be killed no kidding. he's got some hitler gene right there

Tanynia Coote
Tanynia Coote

Can he be stopped? I don't understand why he's so evil, he has his country all to himself, no one in or out. Why mistreat his own people, I don't understand motivation or obsession with Basketball great, turned nut, Dennis Rodman either.

Wang Huan
Wang Huan

the same thing happened in China

Stewart Forbes
Stewart Forbes

These things prob cost a lot lot more to provide in the US than in Cuba due to higher costs involved ? Salaries for example maybe - but I dunno. Always admired Cuba.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

And, of course, just in the past year, Cuba lost 39 million dolars in health extra expenses due to the blockade.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Just to demonize comunism, because it's against their interests. Read again what I said, nothing of what I read was proven to be lie, and is well documented, so, I have no reasons not to trust what they say, and they don't make articles with point of views from tourists or extreme-left journals (like US media and extreme right-wing journals, that don't show their sources). You should calculate how much Cuba spend per citizen in education and health, per year. For exemple. The United States spend 8 thousand dolars per year for each one of his citizens, in sanitary conditions and health (included the heath insurance paid by their citizens). Thats the double of the other OCDE countries, and OCDE itself relased this information in their studies. They have the worst health sistem of the developed countries. Cuba spend 17 dolars, per citizen, each year in their health and sanitary sistem. And have a health and sanitary sistem in the same level of developed coutries, with a lower infant mortality rate than US, and a lot of other better rates than US and most of the countries of the world, like the diabetes treatment efficiency. Even better than some other OCDE countries that spend much more in their health sistem, besides of US. And, sincerely, education and health are not simple things, it's easier to produce a car to everybody than to give those things to everybody.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

That is what I'm talking about! Their government can guarantee simple things, like education and health care, to their 12 million people. US has 300 million, we have almost 200. The diference is visible, but I don't want to get away with Castro's credit. About North Korea. I didn't get this: you doubt what the western media (not ONE source, ALL OF IT) tells you and not North Korea's tells you?? You think that their government reliable and is totally for the population, with no corruption, manipulation or something else like that?? While the WHOLE western have some kind of agreedment with the US government and want to show those little asians as poor and weak just to make a bad picture of them?

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

I don't repeat what media says, without checking things, and seeing who is saying each thing. I have no reason not to trust cuban media, or north koean media, or some independent sources (that are the places were I collect the most part of information), I haven't seen any lie until now. But I've seen lies of US media, that were proven to be lies not just by the cuban or north corea government. So, I won't trust who has lied to me before, a lot of times.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

No, in your conception, it's not. And people there know that. I've been there. But, they have an embargo, and better health and education than the US, that is the richiest country in the world. I didn't see any one starving, like I see here everyday. And people also know that.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

It seems that you accept the western media as an US agency hahaha

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

Sensationalism says the same thing about Cuba, but would you say that Cuba is full structured, supplied? A paradise? I wouldn't.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

And ok, North Corea and US are at war, and that's "just to attract viewers". It doens't really matter why, they are still lying, so, you can't trust them.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Well, comom sense says the same about Cuba, and thats not true... A journalist should check the source of the information of their articles. Do you think media doesn't know about that? Why so many journals repeat the same information, without checking the facts? And massive journals.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

"They are going to earn much more money from the government, than any money lost due the lost of credit." - How could you conclude this? Any data or reliable source?

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

Well, it could have been wrong source or a modified information, which they had got from any source that was actually lying (this could have been a tourist, a foreign journalist or even a north korean citizen). It was a way to attract readers/viewers, just that. "They have an embargo." That's exactly what the government need to blame the western media/countries. Almost anything could be easily related to this by their media and influence the people. What do they really know about us? As far as I know, what they hear from the government.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

And they can travel by the country, having a private vehicle is not the only way to do that.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Ok, so how can you explain the lies that they said? They are going to earn much more money from the government, than any money lost due the lost of credit. They are not a lot of people that investigate things, that search things outside the mass medias, and, of course, that's not the public of those kind of journals. And even so, "Globo" lies a lot, it's losing a lot of viewers, and is still lying. And the government doesn't needs to lie, lie about what? It's socialism. The problems affect the whole country, and the thing is: They have an embargo. There is not need to lie. I've been to another socialist country, and seen by my eyes that people knows= what is happening in the country, and who recieves benefits in spite of the rest of the people, and them fight against that, and they are not killed because of that, like media says. The same media that lies about Corea.

Максим Швейк
Максим Швейк

This chubby is a funny guy...I think he should have read Orwell's "Animal Farm"...))

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

Also, 120 000 km2 is NOT that small and most of the people don't have a individual vehicle, like we do here.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

I don't agree totally with that. Journals, such as TIME, would lost a lot of respect and credit if they do things like that commonly, for the "mass media" respect and credit is money! "Why would the government lie to the people?" The answer is simple: try to control what they think about the regime. This is very important for any kind of government that doesn't want rebellions or even a revolution (taking into account that this is becoming very popular in Asia hahaha).

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Well, thats what I said, most part of the mass media, of the ocidental countries, said that the ex-girlfriend of Kim Jong Un was killed, or that they attacked a russian ship, and Russia's government said that was a lie, nothing happened. It was not only one journal, but a lot of massive journals, and companies, that said things like that. Those medias are just bussines, they said what they are payed for.

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

Why would the government lie to the people? A lot of problems of the country are related to the embargo (that's tighter than the cuban one). It's a small country. They are not dumb. It's easier to see the things that are in front of your home. They have a lot of problems, and the government recongnize them. Like problems related to their power plants.

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

Ok, I can't be TOTALLY sure that TIME isn't lying, but I can base my oppinion not only on TIME's articles, but also on a huge amount of publications related to that. All these publications tell almost the same about North Korea and, still, shouldn't I believe in that? "And also, if they have done that, what's the problem?" The problem is that the minds of the people in that country are being made by that media, which try to influence the people telling only the side the government wants to be told. This is dictatorship! The only way you can get in touch with information like that is with a partner of government. So, should they (north korean) trust that? For me and you, we can have any doubt of sources like TIME, but we can still get to know more about that, not only the side that the USA or NATO or whatelse wants us to see.

Marcelo Almeida
Marcelo Almeida

he started doing that BEFORE the killing. you are late, Time

Luiz David Botero Alessi
Luiz David Botero Alessi

How do you know if "Time" isn't lying? USA and North Corea are at war, do you know what propaganda means? I've seen a lot of lies about North Corea, so, I won't be dumb to trust someone that I know that lies. Would you trust someone like that? And also, if they have done that, what's the problem? For the ancient greeks, having your name in history was an honour. Can't it be a a punishment? It's another point of view of how things work. And also, how can you be sure that the governement of that country lies? Because the government of the US said so?

Arthur Lima
Arthur Lima

He could have been a terrorist, there's still no reason for ripping him out from history or destroying any memory left of him. Besides, don't you think that the government's media of North Korea lies about the real situation of the whole country for the people?

LawanKamaran
LawanKamaran

Other leaders are not better than him . Th eonly difference is that he is honest with his people .

Dylan Stanford
Dylan Stanford

All in a days work for Winston Smith and the ministry of truth

GregoryA.Peterson
GregoryA.Peterson

Rodman has always been nuts, he didn't morph into a nut...he has never had both oars in the water....