Photo of the day: Bill Clinton with Kim-Jong Il

Larger size here. Former American president Bill Clinton with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, a still from video footage shot in Pyongyang today. Clinton is reported to be in North Korea for the purpose of negotiating release for two jailed American journalists. (image: Reuters)

Previously: North Korea Finds Two US Journalists Guilty of Unspecified "Grave Crime," Sentence: 12 Years Hard Labor


  1. I’m surprised Kim didn’t ask for some sort of throne-esque platform…he looks extra-super shrimpy compared to Bill.

  2. I think KJ-I looks sickly, like unto death. I have to admit that this may be wishful thinking on my part.

  3. I’m glad Clinton’s there instead of Bush.

    Bush couldn’t negotiate terms of release at a massage parlor.

  4. This and several other pictures of the event look beyond artificial to me. Where did they get those backgrounds, from Linden Labs? And seriously, don’t the persons in these pics have a terrible stiffness to them, of cardboard cutouts? Someone get these guys an instructional DVD for PhotoShop, quick!

  5. To be serious for just a moment. Does it strike anyone else that every picture of Clinton’s visit except for the ones taken with KJI are clear while the dear leader pictures look like someone put an extra-large glob of vaseline on the lens? I wonder if this may be because KJI looks like death warmed up and N. Korea is trying to hide it.

  6. @Chainring: or it could be because it’s a still from a video, as this is, which probably explains #16’s suspicions as well.

  7. Why is this man back in the spotlight; and how effective does he think this will be? Korea is not one to schmooze like this…

  8. Regarding the background, they’re into that kitschy shit.

    I guess the DPRK was being kind in not having the photo shot in front of a mural of Great Leader giving on-the-spot direction to ecstatic workers digging a subway tunnel.

  9. The woman on the right side is either on North Koreas Taekwondo-Team or a male bodyguard in costume. Probably both.

  10. I meant to add, that this picture with Clinton was so close to the other picture I saw, I did a double take. Seriously, I’m not sure KJI has moved. Maybe they have a wax figure for formal portraits.

  11. #21 pimlottc – Thanks. I’m not one to go in for (much less create or propagate) conspiracy theories, but it seemed like every news outlet had the same set of clear pics of Clinton alone and blurry ones with KJI; and, in terms of public relations, I don’t put anything past the DPRK.

    … but KJI does look pretty awful. *shuffle* *shuffle* I mean… he looks awfully good. Lean and strong. He must be exercising. I’ve heard the Dear Leader can lift a train car over his head and rides a circuit around the entire country on his bicycle every day.

  12. I heard that this was a fake. Look at the relative size between Clinton and KJI.. The hairlines are the clue when you zoom in.. Totally a bad job of faking this..

  13. They sent Clinton because last time the US sent a woman (Albright) she was too tall to be seen standing next to Kim, requiring the construction of special shoes.

  14. They’re obviously fake, and it’s not the North Koreans doing the faking. It’s the Americans!
    I know this because Kim is really, like, twenty feet tall and roses grow out of his footsteps. I shit you not.

  15. Why are photos of North Korea always blurry? Or does everything actually look like that in North Korea…

  16. Why is everyone so straight face? Is it rude/disrespectful to smile in pictures in N. Korea? The Americans are also straight faced but I’m guessing because the N. Koreans are also.

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