Last known photo of Kim Jong Il

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The arrangement of the people looks improbable for a moving escalator. For one, she is three steps behind him, they are two steps behind her. The group of people are two per step. Everyone seems to be ordered according to rank, and no one is talking or gesturing. Everyone is facing the same way, to the right of the picture (their left) except the woman who is looking straight ahead. No one’s knees are bent, nobody stepping. People simply don’t arrange themselves on an escalator like that.

It’s certainly possible that the escalator was moving, I suppose, but there was a LOT of thought that went into creating that pose for the cameras. There’s nothing at all natural about it. For something so posed, something so concerned with image, it would have been much easier to stop the escalator (if it was even moving to begin with) and take photographs till you were convinced you got the right one. Particularly since there are no shoppers and the shelves have been arranged just so. A lot of thought went into the messaging of this photo.

EDIT: The escalator steps are also perfectly clean. No grease on the front of each step, which you might expect from a functioning elevator in a relatively poor country. Next time you’re on an escalator pay attention to the front of each step, the side that collapses when you reach your floor. I bet it will have a little grease on there.

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