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North Korea left in the dark ages: NASA image reveals dictator-led state bathed in black

NASA said: "Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect."

North Korea is known for keeping its residents in the dark about life outside its borders.

But this astonishing image taken from the International Space Station reveals the true extent of life in the dictator-led state.

The photograph shows the Korean peninsula at night and the contrast between the two Koreas are immediately visible.

The bright expanse of land in the bottom right is South Korea - while the black chasm with a single bright spot …
A satellite image shows the borders of North Korea during the day. (Planet Observer\UIG/REX)

While South Korea and China sparkle with light and electricity North Korea is left almost invisible in the dark - and can easily be mistaken for a large body of water.

The large concentration of light in Seoul shows the developed and bustling city - highlighting its economic power.

This is in stark contrast to Pyongyang, the capital of the country led by supreme leader Kim Jong-un, which is bathed in darkness because of an absence of city lights.

NASA said: "Coastlines are often very apparent in night imagery, as shown by South Korea’s eastern shoreline. But the coast of North Korea is difficult to detect."

The image, which was taken by the ISS last month, is released after a revelatory United Nations report accused the state of crimes against humanity that mirrored Nazi-era atrocities.

The UN Commission of Inquiry said the North committed crimes such as murder, torture, rape and mass starvation.

The repressive state have rejected the findings as 'lies and fabrications'.

You're only Jong once: It's all smiles from the dictator as Kim Jong-un enjoys himself on a ride at the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground amusement park in Pyongyang, North Korea, back in 2012. The ... more 
You're only Jong once: It's all smiles from the dictator as Kim Jong-un enjoys himself on a ride at the Rungna People's Pleasure Ground amusement park in Pyongyang, North Korea, back in 2012. The previous summer his uncle Jang Song-Thaek had helped him consolidate power after the death of Kim's father. In December 2013, Kim had Jang machine-gunned or eaten alive by dogs - depending on which account you believe. (Rex Features) less 
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Rex Features | Photo by Rex Features / Rex Features
Tue, Jan 7, 2014 14:00 GMT