In a column about faked photographs, Guardian ombudsman Ian Mayes suggests that a North Korean picture run on Monday may have been faked:

… the Guardian receives about 5,500 digital images a day. Between 120 and 150 images are chosen for publication from those and from other sources. Readers are quick to query pictures that they feel show signs of manipulation. On Monday this week (February 28) we published a picture headed: “Cold war — North Korean children take aim at America.” It showed children apparently throwing snowballs at a snowman representing the United States. A reader wrote: “A fairly casual inspection of this rather feeble bit of North Korean propaganda makes it obvious that the snowman was never in the original photo, but merely inserted afterward.”

The editor of the section felt that the statement in the caption that the photograph was “released by the state Korean Central News Agency” announced clearly enough that it was a piece of propaganda. But he suggests it might have been spelt out more directly.

Whether it was manipulated or not we do not know. The reader thinks it was and I think he is probably right. It was presented as an example of propaganda, and manipulation is its useful tool. It taints the user.

Via NKZone. For those who haven’t seen the picture in question, here it is: