North Korea stands accused of some of the worst crimes against humanity. It also stands in near darkness at night, a black hole between seas.
The contrast to the brightly lit South Korea and northern neighbor China is apparent in a Jan. 30 image taken from the International Space Station and released by this week by NASA.
“Unlike daylight images, city lights at night illustrate dramatically the relative economic importance of cities, as gauged by relative size,” said a NASA statement that accompanied the photograph.
In the image, the darkened North Korea appears as if it were a “patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan,” NASA said. Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, appears like a “small island,” despite a population of more than 3 million.
Meantime, the metro area of Seoul, capital of the South, is vividly bright with a population of more 25 million.
NASA also pointed out that coastlines are often easy to see in night imagery, but the coast of North Korea is not.
According to a report by the Korea Institute for National Unification, electricity in North Korea is “sporadic and unreliable, with homes that have electricity often receiving just a few hours per day.”
NASA notes that per capita power consumption in South Korea is 10,162 kilowatt hours, but only 739 in North Korea.
The image alone seems to discredit North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s attempt to present his country as a prosperous socialist nation.
Earlier this month, a United Nations commission said the regime should be tried by the International Criminal Court and held accountable heinous crimes after its citizens, including extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment and rape.