For several weeks rumors of the North Korean dictator’s sickness and ultimately, his death, have been making their rounds in the media. North Korea’s state-run media released photos of Kim Jong Un that were allegedly taken on May 1, at the opening of a fertilizer factory in Sunchon, N. Korea. Twitter users who’ve studied the images are claiming that the person identified as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is actually his body double.
The images in question are seen in the tweet below:
If that’s a body double, it’s a pretty good one. https://t.co/FZmuy2txAX
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) May 1, 2020
It is a “well-known fact that Kim uses body doubles,” the International Business Times (IBT) says — and the Sun in 2017 posted video seemingly showing the dictator chatting with some of them.
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Here’s another photo that was taken of Kim Jong Un with a body double at the missile launch:
NYP reports that web sleuths are pointing out discrepancies in facial, hairline and dental features when compared with previous appearances.
Human rights activist Jennifer Zeng was the first to draw attention to dissimilarities between the two “versions” of Kim, including differences in their teeth and ears, according to IBT.
“Is the Kim Jong-un appearing on May 1 the real one?” she asked on Twitter along with side-by-side comparisons of Kim’s “old and new” appearances in two separate posts.
The photos I tweeted yesterday are drawing attention!
Kim Jong Un's body double used as a stand-in for North Korean leader's public appearance? https://t.co/IJCMQ0cOk4
— Jennifer Zeng 曾錚 (@jenniferatntd) May 3, 2020
Rik W claims the gap in the teeth of the “body double” give it away.
Look at these two images and note the teeth! The first one is Kim Jong Un a few weeks ago (the real one?), the second is KJU today as shown by RT. Note the gap in the teeth of the second image. A body double? pic.twitter.com/822ujeEOUZ
— Rik_J (@Freedom_2004) May 2, 2020
The possibility soon spread across the netosphere, with many sharing side-by-side photos seemingly highlighting differences.
“Don’t know, don’t care. See no reason to alter my earlier stance. These aren’t the same man,” former British Member of Parliament Louise Mensch insisted alongside photos of the Kim at the event and older images.
We really believing that’s Kim Jong Un when it could absolutely be a dude w plastic surgery?? If I was a murderous dictator I’d have clones.
— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) May 2, 2020
“The chipped incisor is a definite giveaway it’s not Kim Jong Un,” @SeptAugustus wrote. “So why a body double? If he’s dead why not just announce it and crown his successor?”
Lucas Von points out that the photo has been heavily photoshopped.