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North Korea defends blackout satellite photos: 'the essence of society is not on flashy lights'

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The US 'can't avoid its dark fate'

No single image could hope to capture the ruin and catastrophe brought upon the people of North Korea by the despotic Kim dynasty, but famous satellite photos of the Korean peninsula at night come closer than most; the prosperous South appears severed from the Chinese mainland as Pyongyang's dim lights are outshone by fishing boats. But according to an editorial in the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun, there's nothing to worry about.

"They [North Korea's detractors] clap their hands and get loud over a satellite picture of our city with not much light, but the essence of society is not on flashy lights," the editorial reads, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The writers apparently go on to suggest that the US is facing a similar struggle, touching on topics like Occupy Wall Street and the unrest in Ferguson. "An old superpower that is meeting its sunset may put up a face of arrogance but it can't avoid its dark fate."

north korea night satellite (NASA)

As someone that lives in a city with a lot of flashy lights, I would agree that there is more to the essence of society than a proliferation of neon. But I would also put it to the Rodong Sinmun's editorial board that the essence of society should not involve imprisoning purported political dissenters and their relatives in brutal labor camps, for example, nor failing to provide food for vast swathes of the population while splurging on nuclear weapons and a space propaganda program. Countries that manage to achieve those basics are more likely to construct a functioning power grid along the way.