Has North Korea Photoshopped its military might?

Images of military hovercraft appear, to eagle Western eyes, to have been manipulated.

Crafty? North Korea Central News Agency

Some things are hard to believe.

Is it possible that "Dancing With The Stars" is still on television? Is it possible that Victoria's Secret is creating lingerie for tweens? And how likely is it that Dennis Rodman really is a better friend to Kim Jong-un than is Eric Schmidt?

Actually, talking of North Korea, how likely is it that the country has a myriad of hovercraft, hovering in readiness to invade, say, North Carolina?

I wonder only because the country's Central News Agency released a photograph this week that showed many hovercraft in action.

Yet now some accuse these hovercraft of having been craftily duplicated using that tool of Western decadence: Adobe Photoshop.

The Atlantic, clearly intent on defending the ocean it's named after, is suspicious that North Korea might not have as many hovercraft as it appears.

The Atlantic contacted Agence France-Press, which originally disseminated this image. It has now removed the image from its site, citing a certain suspicion of its credibility -- or, as the news agency put it: "excessive digital alteration."

The hawkish will be appalled that anyone could have been fooled by such a ruse. The waggish, on the other hand, will be uplifted that North Korea has Photoshop.

A recent photograph showed the current "Supreme Leader" sitting at some apparently important control panel that looks more like a 50s bar piano.

Of course, in this world of unmanned drones and cyber warfare, the idea of hovercraft presenting a mortal threat might appear slightly quaint.

Given that our society relies so much on cosmetic nuances, it's heartening to see that North Korea might be adjusting to the many ways that the Web can make you look better than you really are.

 

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