By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
A satellite photo reveals that power shortages in North Korea were a part of daily life.
The Kim Jong Il era in North Korea will be best remembered as perhaps one of the country's darkest -- literally.
A satellite photo making the rounds on the internet revealed that the only region where there was any semblance of the lights being on at night was the capital city of Pyongyang. In contrast, much of the population in South Korea were shown to have a much healthier glow as well as surrounding areas in China. The image provides a telling glimpse into one of the world's most secretive dictatorships, though not a very surprising one.
Throughout the "Dear leader's" 13 year reign, the communist regime instilled and enforced a policy of "Juche," which roughly translates to "spirit of self-reliance." It's a principle that was originally popularized by Jong Il's father, Kim Il-sung, who asserted that the Republic must use its own domestic resources and strength to become independent of external sources from other countries. In practice, however, the North Korean leadership often sought assistance from Russia and China as the nation has been stricken by widespread famine and power shortages, even as they continued to invest heavily in building and sustaining a military that would eventually become the world's fifth largest.
Under the tutelage of the ruling Kim family, North Korean society is among the world's poorest and most malnourished. Men in North Korea are on average almost 3 inches shorter than those living just across the demilitarized zone. Women are 1.6 inches shorter. By comparison, Costa Rica, a developing country which abolished its military in 1959, and maintains positive bilateral relations with other nations has since enjoyed the highest standard of living in Latin America.
Consequently, the striking imagery and what it implies also falls in line with an earlier study suggesting that, at least with developing countries, there was a strong link between nighttime luminosity and economic wealth. Yet despite how 'Juche' has panned out so far, it appears likely that the late dictator's son Kim Jong Un will carry forth what has been a legacy of suffering, isolation and, above all, distrust.
More mysterious satellite images:
- China’s Area 51? Mysterious site spotted from space
- Mysterious ‘Nazca Lines’ ruins discovered in Saudi desert
- How NASA satellites unearthed Egypt’s lost pyramids
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Dec 19, 2011
The Fault lies with us and with the other countries who thought to change their having nuclear weapons and with Kim Jong Il. Since he had the power to produce a nuclear warhead, he could have at least build them a nuclear power plant or two. I think it was done on purpose as part of his propaganda machine. It would also tend to keep somebody with an illegal computer from trying to get on the Internet at night. Cuba has a similar program. Private ownership of a computer is forbidden but things are a little looser since the Change to Raul, Cuba would have rolling blackouts, but they were never really a for a long time. Back to N. Korea, I believe he used it as a means of exerting his power over the people and propaganda.
North Korea is perhaps the most green country on the planet. Their shortened citizens are boldly making the sacrifices required to counter the profligate carbon-based ways of their morally inferior neighbors.
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -Gerald Ford Confessions of a 'Public Servant' While claiming to work for the greater good, Kim decided to take away from his people.
What this has to do with a government that could provide very little except to the very few is puzzling at at best
We affluent westerners are despoiling the planet with our overconsumption, or so I am told. The average North Korean is actually living the life they suggest we all should be in the name of being "green". I don't wish to do so, so by that standard I am certainly morally inferior. Are you too?
the poor situation of N korea, is not because of their leaderships. it is the result of sanctions by your countries. And you've got blood all over your hands.