- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
The BBC is reporting that the following photograph of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, released earlier this week, may be a fake:
From the above distance, everything looks fine. It’s just Dear Leader, the paragon of health, inspecting the troops as normal. But zoom in, the BBC found, and a few inconsistencies raise red flags:
Maybe North Korea has stolen CNN’s hologram technology?
On a serious note, the inconsistencies in the photograph raise the question of whether Kim is in fact incapacitated, or even dead. The latest speculation is that Chang Sun-Taek, Kim’s brother-in-law, is running the show. But nobody really knows for sure.
So, should we be worried about a destabilizing succession battle in this paranoid, impoverished, nuclear-armed regime? Stuart Reid of Foreign Affairs, in a new piece for ForeignPolicy.com, says the answer is, surprisingly, no. Check it out.
UPDATE: It appears the top photo is not the exact same one as that examined by the BBC. Thanks to readers for alerting me to this, and sorry for the mistake. Also, South Korea’s intelligence community believes the Kim photo is real.