A photo collage has been repeatedly shared on Facebook in South Korea that claim it shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looking comparatively thinner in 2021 compared to 2019. Although recent photos of Kim do appear to show he has lost weight, the image has been digitally doctored to make Kim appear even thinner.
The image was shared here on Facebook on October 14, 2021.
"They don't seem like the same person. I feel like I'm watching something happening in plays or movies," reads the Korean-language claim.
The post circulated online after speculation that Kim had lost weight, as Sky News reported here.
In June, North Korea's state-run Korean Central TV aired an interview of a Pyongyang resident who said Kim's apparent weight loss had upset people across the nation.
"Seeing respected general secretary [Kim] looking emaciated breaks our people's heart so much," the resident said at that time.
Comments on the post indicate that some users have been misled to believe the second image was genuine.
"He has lost a lot of weight," one user wrote.
"Has he received plastic surgery? His teeth are even different," another user said.
However, the image on the right side has been digitally doctored to make Kim look even thinner.
An image search on Google found the original photo published here by CBS News on September 11, 2021.
The photo's caption reads: "North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un attends a paramilitary parade held to mark the 73rd founding anniversary of the republic at Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang in this undated image supplied by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on September 9, 2021."
AFP found the original photo published in a September 9 report by the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA):
Below is a screenshot comparison of the photo shared in the misleading Facebook posts (L) and the original photo published by KCNA (R):
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