So, after I found the original through stumbleupon, and then made a response poster, I revisited the site and found this justification from the author. Money quotes have been bolded by me.
I don't need to hear another word about the North Korea picture being inaccurate. I know the picture is from Vietnam, and I know it won a Pulitzer Prize, and I know it's one of the most famous pictures in the world. That's why it instantly popped into my head when I wanted a picture of North Korea acting like a bully . . . I couldn't very well settle for a picture of Kim Jong-il just standing around looking angry . . . it had to be one-on-one bullying, and the famous pic snapped by Eddie Adams was the first that came to mind. So please, enough with the North Korea image.So, yeah, it's a stupid demotivator humor site, but still. "Close enough?" A split-screen of a starving kid and Kim Jong Il in those stupid glasses wouldn't have worked? You had to use one of the best known photos of the Vietnam war, and then complain about getting caught? That's a wee bit dickish.
I am not a racist. I got a lot of those comments, which surprised me, because not one of the posters is about race. [...]As for the Vietnamese picture working for North Korea, well, it's close enough, isn't it? I needed a picture that at least looked like it was from East Asia. Vietnam was close enough.