North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong Un digitally altered a television series that runs on state TV, according to The Daily Mail. The move is to reportedly erase any sign of defectors. “The Taehongdang Party Secretary” aired in the country from 1998 to 2000 and featured actor Choe Ung Chol. Choe was also close to Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was executed in 2013.
Choe dissatisfied Kim because of his ties to his uncle and the allegations of being a womanizer. Choe was digitally replaced by actor Pak Jong Taek in the show that depicts potato farmers dealing with the famine of the 1990s. The premise appears ironic now since the communist country is experiencing food shortages.
Tatiana Gabroussenko, a professor at Korea University in Seoul, was first aware of this change and commented on the technological capabilities of the regime, as well as the lengths they would go through to erase the existence of anyone that they did not like. She notes that Pak did a remarkable job of identifying the mannerisms and expressions of Choe, in addition to reproducing the lines verbatim, but concludes that it still does not work.
Jang was reportedly plotting a coup against the dictator and harnessed the sympathy of Choe, who is known among other defectors. Jang was also criticized by the leader for not clapping excitedly enough.
The digital alteration comes after Kim simulated nuclear attacks, according to The Hill. North Korean state media, Rodong Sinmun, wrote that the exercise came as the country perceived “aggression” from other countries when the United States and South Korea conducted joint exercises earlier in March which lasted 11 days. The outlet alleged that the U.S. is bringing “nuclear strategic assets” to South Korea.
Pyongyang assured that the missile was not putting other countries in jeopardy.