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Friday, December 30, 2011

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'Giant North Korean soldier' pays respects to Kim Jong-il

At first glance it appears to be just another photograph of immaculately turned out troops paying their last respects to North Korea’s former leader Kim Jong-il.

But a closer inspection of the back row of one block of mourners reveals a far from ordinary sight - a soldier who appears to be well over 8ft tall.

 The remarkable image was captured as the funeral procession of the late leader passed near the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in the capital Pyongyang.

It was taken by North Korea’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and is one of several pictures which show the same giant soldier from different angles.

 Thousands of troops paraded in Kim Il-sung Square this week in a display of military might following the death of Kim Jong-il on Dec 17.

 Yesterday evidence emerged that the carefully choreographed mourning was not necessarily as it seemed as some images appeared to have been doctored.

 A television crew visible in one picture taken of the funeral had somehow vanished in a second, near identical image, leading the international news agency Reuters to claim it had been deliberately altered by KCNA.

 The "giant soldier" photograph looks less likely to have been manipulated given he can be seen in different images from several angles.

A close crop of the image, and with its exposure enhanced, shows the strikingly tall figure quite clearly.

 The photo's emergence has led to widespread speculation as to who the soldier might be with, some online commentators suggesting the mystery figure is the 7’ 8” tall North Korean basketball star Ri Myung Hun.

The well-known player, who once held the title as the world’s tallest man, is also known as Michael Ri after his favourite basketball player, Michael Jordan.

 He attempted to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA) in America during the 1990s but eventually settled on staying in North Korea.

 The current, tallest man living is Sultan Kösen who measured 8’ 3” in Ankara, Turkey, in February this year. The part-tme farmer was the first man over 8 ft tall to be measured by Guinness World Record in more than 20 years.


  1. Bring him over to play for San Antonio Spurs, they need help.


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