North Korea Responds to Dark Satellite Photo, Chinese Reactions

Satellite photo of North Korea at night, showing a patch of darkness next to brightly lit China and South Korea.

From NetEase

North Korea Responds to Satellite Photo Showing North Korea As a Patch of Darkness: Light Does Not Reflect [Our Society’s] Nature

China News Service February 3 report — North Korean official media published a report on the 3rd stating that some countries often use satellite photos to criticize North Korea’s “lack of light” and being “a patch of darkness at night”, but that the nature/essence of a society is not reflected in dazzling lights. North Korea is currently on the path of happiness, and this is definitely without doubt.

The report claims that just like this cold winter season, North Korea as before confronts self-discipline. “We cannot yet undo our waistband”. However, “the hearts and faces of the North Korean people are all bright, and the homeland is younger with each passing day”. North Korea is opening the doors to its revival.


The report also claims that under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, North Korea’s economy has made obvious accomplishments, such as the successful construction of the Pyongyang kindergarten, satellite scientist residential area, the waterpark, etc. and that North Korea is currently on the path of happiness.

The report points out that on “the issue of eating/food”, a huge change has occurred in North Korea. The North Korean government has encouraged various economic bodies to take the initiative, that rural peasants have begun to use new techniques/technology, and that the once desolate farms have become warm cities.

The report stresses that while North Korea does not have sparkling lights, it has a society that is completely without political pollution; while it is not very rich, it has beautiful social customs. In its situation of confrontation with “imperialist” countries, that the North Korean people can live as it currently does is already very blessed.

(Original title: North Korean Media Responds to Satellite Photos Showing North Korea As a Patch of Darkness: Light Does Not Reflect Society’s Nature)

Comments from NetEase:

fallfall [网易黑龙江省齐齐哈尔市网友]:

Just shows that North Korea cares for the planet. It doesn’t even need to participate in whatever Earth Hour.

老二有点软 [网易广东省广州市手机网友]:

Such familiar bold rhetoric, of a bright future, a revival of a people, a well-off society. Sweet, our lives are like honey.

洪磊牌外交复读机 [网易广东省手机网友]:

This is an impressively shameless response.

笑看卢布崩盘 [网易湖北省鄂州市网友]:

Just a little dark.

黄易幕后大老板 [内涵老鸟]:

Now this is true environmental protection, without smog or pollution, treasuring the planet, and Kim Jong-un leading the way.

教训毛棍俄杂人渣 [网易福建省福州市网友]:

The very same rhetoric I read in political textbooks when I was small.

疯一一一一子 [网易山东省网友]:

Kim Jong-un is leading the North Korean people as they run forward on the road of happiness.

网易北京市手机网友 ip:114.254.*.*

Lights off 365 days of the year, a night of missing you! [Alludes to a Chinese pop song.]

婁山關 [内涵大师]:

An entire country pulls the circuit breaker,
so millions of homes need not flip a switch,
to look more at the stars and eat less,
as conservation and environment protection is the model to follow. [Original Chinese is a rhyming poem.]

网易天津市网友 ip:125.39.*.*


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  • fakeusername

    It’s impossible not to improve marginally when you’re starting from ground zero.

  • Vance

    I was wondering when they would pop in about that.

  • Tesla_X

    “This is an impressively shameless response.”


    • 山炮 ShanPao

      Kim Jong Ill has serious issues for sure. But I don’t really understand how we can realistically gauge the development of society on light pollution.

      There are so many other things we could talk about to denigrate North Korean governance… not our own flaws though!

      • Tesla_X

        Probably, but one of the basic ways to measure commercial and industrial activity is by measuring energy consumption.

        This is true of children eating a healthy and regular diet as they grow up, and it is true of energy products like fossil fuels or other energy sources used by growing countries.

        Lights are a rather crude measurement of this, but for North Korea, its a start.

        If they can’t keep basic things like the lights on, that is not a good thing….ever.

      • David

        Turning night into day was one of the premier human accomplishments starting with fire and becoming more effective unto today. I think if North Korea were one big national park it would be fine that it was dark. But we are talking about cities with millions of people in them. They are not dark because they are all supper sensitive of the ecology, The cities are dark because they can not keep the lights on. This is very telling of a country that has nuclear weapons.

  • James

    kim jong un is the biggest piece of shit on the planet

    • Poodle Tooth

      And getting bigger, apparently.

    • Irvin

      You should read more news….from more sources.

      • James

        you should go eat a dick

        • Irvin

          Why? because I was trying to deliver you from your ignorance? I had no idea being an imbecile is actually a preference to you.

          • James

            what was i being ignorant about? I was just thinking today was telling bluntly what other people should do day.

          • Irvin


          • Guest

            You go eat…all the dicks.

    • takasar1

      You evidently haven’t wondered far from the New York Times it seems

    • Stefan

      I actually admire him, he is my idol.

      • Sophia Dalke

        Well, he is the sexiest man alive… according to the Onion.

  • AbC

    Is Kim Jong Un going for the Mao Zedong look? That picture looks eerily similar…

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      No, just continuing the proud family tradition of looking at stuff.

    • hang

      He needs a unique look for his cult of personality, and he’s certainly nailed it.

  • Germandude

    If North Korea was just blessed with having huge resources of oil…

    • AbC

      Then there would be more likelihood of their nuclear missiles actually capable of traveling a few hundred kilometres.

      • Germandude

        Or it would have been liberated long ago…

        • AbC

          Liberated like Afghanistan and Iraq?

          • Germandude


          • vincent_t

            wrong. It would be liberated like Crimea.

    • namepen

      Then China would be even more likely to go to war with any prospective ‘liberator’.

      • Sophia Dalke

        This ain’t the 50s anymore, son. China’s geopolitical goals are very different now, as is the CCP, as is specifically the Standing Committee.

        China desperately wants to maintain the status quo right now, as does, for that matter, the US, so there’s no real chance of any conflict unless the north tries to go kamikaze on the south. Even in that case I don’t think the PRC would let the DPRK maintain functional independence, whatever “aid” the PRC might send would almost certainly have an effective goal of annexation.

        People forget that even old alliances like what existed during the early phase of the Vietnam War have been completely reversed such that the PLA attacked Vietnam in 1979. (That’s water under the bridge too, to an extent, considering that Vietnamese have resented Chinese dominance for as long as the Koreans. Both Vietnam and Korea were partially annexed during various dynastic cycles.)

        • David

          Salute to Tran Hung Dao.and the Trung sisters.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      It would have been absorbed into China for it’s own good after the PRC found old documents showing Korea as part of China.

  • 42

    Kim Jung Un is correct, more light in a city doesn’t necessarily means more wealth and happiness, but it does mean more pollution, waste of energy, densed population, and less environmental friendly places for people to live in, some countries which can’t even see the natural light coming from stars and the moon because of heavy city lights.

    • A Touch of Sin

      I took this photo of the local power plant from my Pyongyang hotel room window one morning. Does that look environmentally friendly to you?

      No lights does not necessarily mean less pollution. Generally, more lights equal more development (sanitation, roads/transportation, police/fire/medical services, schools, housing) which allows for, but does not guarantee, greater happiness. Using advanced technologies and environmentally friendly processes/policies equals less pollution and greater energy inefficiencies.

      Also, diverting attention to other countries while addressing one country’s issues,beyond comparing best practices and how to implement them in the target country, is counter-productive and telling of insecurity.

      • Mihel

        That’s not smog, you are obviously ignorant of North Korea’s unique environmental peculiarity which are dragon farts.
        To the untrained, prejudiced capitalistic eye it might seem like the common exhaust gases we are used to see in our decadent, sinful capitalistic cities, but those are in fact fragrant mists liberated from the rear end of dragons digestive system.

        • A Touch of Sin

          No, you are wrong. They are Kiringul unicorn farts.

        • David

          Thank you Mihel. It is about time somebody put him in his place. Ignorance of cultural uniqueness should be a capital crime, oh wait, I think in NK it already is..

      • That’s marvelous

        I agree, many people make the mistake of thinking that pollution is a 20th century invention. It’s the solution to pollution that’s the 20th century invention.

        In some British cities during industrial revolution you couldn’t even see the sun. This was 19th century. Even longer ago, people already burned wood and coal in their own houses. They had smog back then too.

        And don’t forget they cut down forests to create fuel. This is reason North Korea is so barren.

        The air in western cities is cleaner and nature is greener than it has been for centuries.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      Yes, North Korea should look at its own flaws first instead of comparing themselves to other nations.

    • mr.wiener

      Somehow I don’t think they are like this because of enviromental awareness..

      • 42

        This is not about deliberate awareness or not, it is about that lacking something doesn’t necessarily means that its a bad thing.

        • Pete of Perth

          Name a pure communist nation.

          • 42


          • Mao’s_a_Dong

            no. I’ve been to Cuba many times. It is pseudo-communist, although probably the best model of communism in the world. The people are poor, but educated. There is capitalism on the island as well.

          • hang

            That’s true. Even Cuba’s ruling elite understand that a “pure” command economy with complete state ownership can’t provide for a country. The rosy utopian ideals of Marxism sound great on paper, but in practice, only create misery.

            Even the North Korean Worker’s Party is gradually becoming more tolerant of the gray market there.

          • Mao’s_a_Dong

            They have no choice. If you don’t placate the starving, sooner or later they will feast on you.

          • David

            LMFAO have ever MET anybody who has left Cuba? Obviously not. But thank you for the wonderful laugh, I needed that.

        • mr.wiener

          I hardly think there is an equal distribution of wealth in North Korea …and the trouble with ignorance is eventually people wise up. When this happens in PRK it is going to get downright medieval very fast.

          • 42

            the problem with people is that hardly do they ever know when enough is enough. it is always too less, not too much.

            but when is it enough?

            for example, something totally different. some countries and some people are still struggling with the aftermath of the financial crisis, some countries are even on the brink of bankruptcy, often due to the cause of greediness and wanting more money, it is always not enough, and their investments backfired. but think more carefully, if the richest people in this world chip in, and contribute a small portion of their wealth, we would have overcome this financial crisis very easily.

            but however most of us human beings are greedy, not willing to share unconditionally, even if their wealth is so vast that they probably cannot spend it all in this lifetime. thats why there is so much unequality in this world. the rich get richer, the poor stay poor.

            we think North-Koreans citizens are under fed and poor, and malnutritioned, being abused by their leaders, but actually we dont have proof and numbers of this, we speculate, but on the otherhand maybe their standard of living is enough for them. it is obviously not enough for us, but cant we accept the possibility that it might be enough for them?

          • mr.wiener

            There is more than enough evidence to suggest the people of PRK do not have enough food. The food aid they receive (and demand) from China and ROK shows this and the reports from refugees who flee the country are chilling. If you believe something is not seriously wrong in that country .. that is your choice.
            That said. We could all learn to do with less.The older I get the more I find that too much stuff clutters up your life.

          • firebert5

            People are people. Nothing is ever enough. That’s why neither pure nor pseudo-communism will ever work.

          • jaded

            Communism has been proven as a flawed and un enactable socioeconomic system. Look at the former Soviet Union,, PRK, PRC and Vietnam.The People have/had nothing and all mired with corruption/abuse of power..

          • vonskippy

            @42 – crawl back to your NK handlers like a good dog and get your belly rubbed and whatever table scraps they feed you. No one here is buying your crap.

          • 42

            nazi alert! so much for free speech, cant seem to handle it, can ya? to hard for you to comprehend? you do know that not everybody on this planet have to think alike, do you not?. you are exposing yourself that you cant tolerate other peoples opinion, that is a fascist behavior. instead of providing solid arguments as to why my opinion doesnt suit you well, you rather resort to name calling, very weak….

          • David

            If you do not want everybody to think alike, better not go live in a communist country.

          • Vance

            This is a possibility, however, I would presume that the North Korean people are similar to the South Korean people. I believe they are of the same ethnic background after all. When these ethnic Koreans were given the freedom to do so in the South, they built, innovated, invested, and became very enthusiastic entrepreneurs. I think that the reason the ethnic Koreans who just happen to be located north of an artificial border are not being such enthusiastic entrepreneurs is because they just are not allowed to.

          • A Touch of Sin

            The more comments I read from you, the more I worry about who you influence.

            Wealth inequality is a product of industrialization and automation. Not greed. Low skilled workers are as greedy as high skilled workers. People are greedy, this can make good results and bad results. A person who is not greedy will not start a company to make millions, employing thousands of people. A not greedy person will take a job at a factory, removing one job from the economy.

            As automation removes menial jobs from the job pool, less low skilled jobs are available, driving wages down. These same technologies require highly skilled workers with high capacity for creativity and innovation. They continue to be paid more, as they create more value, while less low skilled jobs are available and are worth less.

            Communism and other forms of controlled markets makes this process worse. Look at Hong Kong, it is terribly unequal. This is due to greed enabled by a totalitarian control of the HK government and resource (land, housing), by the CCP.


            We do have proof of North Korean torture and concentration camps. You just refuse to see it.


            How many regular North Koreans have you talked to? How can you say what they want? If you think they want that life, why can’t they be free to leave North Korea or to express their feelings?

          • ScottLoar

            “Wealth inequality is a product of industrialization and automation”. I don’t think you intended that, otherwise there was no great disparity in wealth before the Industrial Revolution, and it was the Industrial Revolution that brought about wealth that set one class apart from all others? That the wealth and privilege supposedly common to most (really?) was upset by industrialization? Quite the opposite wasn’t it? History recounts otherwise, The Pareto Principle explains otherwise, the degradation of the noble classes and rise of intense social mobility shows otherwise. Those French aristocrats waiting their turn at the guillotine as well as those cheering the rolling heads would also be surprised to know that wealth inequality is a product of industrialization and automation.

          • A Touch of Sin

            Surprised indeed, especially since they lived long before such economic theory was developed. You, on the other hand, should not be so surprised.

            Your examples are agrarian societies before Lewis turning points (LTP). During this time technology allows for a slight increase in wages, especially as there are plenty of higher skilled/higher paying jobs to upgrade/transition to (those easiest to transition to are taken up first). Of course during this time huge quantities of wealth are accumulated by the owners of the capital and technology. This accumulation of capital enables factories and eventually industrialization.

            During industrialization technology allows mean wages to increase, as you’ve mentioned, but the ratio of wealth held between labour and capital classes expands dramatically.

            The key is after a LTP, at which point wages increase due to labour shortages as well as technology allowing a worker to output more GDP per hour. This is all fine and dandy as automation replaces the low paying jobs and there are plenty of higher paying jobs to transition to. Of course there is a delay in people finding new jobs (few years to a generation), as well as a delay in automation being applied (about 10% of roles capable of automation are today automated). Generally a discount of 10-15% is required before a company will decide to replace labour with automation.

            Where it gets tricky is when the jobs people transition to start to disappear. At first automation makes our lives easier and increases our wages, technology creates new jobs which are often higher paying. But eventually automation starts to take up so many jobs that there are no jobs left to transition to. Combine this with the fact that automation is essentially labour, so at some point you’re going to get an inverse LTP (I just made that up) as labour supply exceeds demand again, dropping wages down to theoretically 0.

            At this point the only value adders are those who develop and manage the automation processes, there is no need for manual labour. We’ve reached maximum wealth inequality as perhaps 1% of the world has 100% of the wealth. It’s happening right now, look at the ratios over the last 50 years, they’ve only gone up. Technology reduces employment and wages in the very long run, though there is a very long tail leading up to it, and this event will probably happen exponentially, very quickly.

          • ScottLoar

            I took your comment at face value, “wealth inequality is a product of industrialization and automation”, then cited examples through rhetorical questions this is patently not true, that wealth inequality existed well before industrialization and automation as dramatically testified by the sans culotes sending off the French aristocracy to the guillotine; no, they didn’t need knowledge of modern economic theory to recognize that wealth inequality is not the product of industrialization and automation, but somehow you do.

            “We’ve reached maximum wealth inequality as perhaps 1% of the world has 100% of the wealth”, a mathematical impossibility unless you define wealth as monies, possessions and purchasing power above and beyond common necessity and comfort; nevertheless, the truth of wealth inequality is exactly why I referenced the Pareto Principle as explanation.

            Surely these two points are so patently clear they need not prompt your further questioning just what it is I’m saying, nor prompt you to any more than understanding.

          • A Touch of Sin

            Honestly I’m having a hard time following what you are saying, even if you are agreeing with me or not. For instance, I don’t understand how the 80-20 rule counters the theory that automation leads to massive wealth inequality and the entirety of value creation behind held by a very small portion of society. In fact it could support the theory, today 20% of the population accounts for 80% of wealth creation, in the future it could be 1% accounting for 99%.

          • ScottLoar

            Vilfredo Pareto discovered that the richest quintile of a population controlled most of the wealth, no matter which country. The distribution pattern is always the same: “The richest or busiest or most connected participants in a system will account for much, much more wealth or activity or connectedness than average,” and what is true of the top 20 is even more true for the top 20 of that slice who will also account for disproportionately more of wealth, activity, connectedness (whatever is being measured), and so on. This principle holds true regardless of the level of “industrialization and automation” which you insist is the driving force behind wealth inequality. It’s not.

            Your insistence that industrialization and automation produce wealth inequality blinds you to history; mankind’s history is a record of wealth inequality, a history of wealth inequality which predates industrialization and automation, and because of that you have not yet divined the cause of wealth inequality. I’ve done that for you.

          • A Touch of Sin

            So you point is that industrialization and automation do not significantly negatively affect wealth inequality? Also, you seemed to of missed my discussion of capital accumulation in pre LTP economies.

            Do you read The Economist? Watch this video, it may be of interest to you:


          • ScottLoar

            You’re confusing correlation as cause.

            Not once have you admitted that wealth inequality existed well before industrialization and automation. We can see from prehistoric graves and burial tumuli the inequality of wealth; we can see from potlatch ceremonies and similar among primitive societies the recognition that wealth inequality exists; we know from human history (how many examples must I give?) that wealth inequality existed, so why do you insist that “industrialization and automation produce wealth inequality”? It may have some effect, it may aggravate inequality to some degree (or may not), but we simply don’t know to what measurable degree; even a Marxist economist would hesitate to agree with your grand extrapolation that this modern age of industrialization and automation will aggregate wealth into 1% of the population as the rest of us somehow muddle along. Modern history to the present (say, 1780’s onwards) shows your notion to be false as the living standard of industrialized and automated societies and nations rises to unprecedented heights of well-being for almost all members (and those exceptions are exceptions with explainable causes in each case). Does wealth inequality persist? Of course, that’s exactly why I referenced the Pareto Principle, which is wholly independent of your premise on industrialization and automation.

            Rather than facing these straightforward statements you bull on with arguments and irrelevant references. Look, run this argument past one of your economics professors.

          • gregblandino

            While I agree with the thrust of your argument, I have to quibble about the “Marxist economist” bit.

            A Marxist economist would expect Capital accumulation to continually increase amongst the “1%” (why this phrase replaced the completeley suitable bourgeoisie is beyond me) as they continue to extract more “suprlus value”. This trend is supposedly going to culminate in the rising up of the “99%” (proletariat) and establishment of socialism.

            The true current split of “1%-99%” would then not be between classes on a national scale but on an international scale. I wholeheartedly agree that wealth inequality is not unique to the current mode of production. I also post no claim as to the validity of “Marxian economics”

          • ScottLoar

            Thanks for your comment, understanding of the argument, and I accept your explanation of Marxist economics.

          • A Touch of Sin

            In my first response to you I said “During this time labour supply is unlimited making wages flat, allowing businesses/nobles/capital owners to expand rapidly, amassing huge quantities of wealth.”. You don’t seem to be aware, or you are ignoring, that I am saying in pre LTP/pre industrialization economies, surplus labour allows for huge wealth inequalities.

            Therefore, I can see that you are unable to engage in a rational discussion. Good luck with you opinions, I hope you enjoyed the video by The Economist.

          • Sophia Dalke

            Yeah pay no attention to all the eye-witness accounts of the refugees… they’re just speculating.

        • A Touch of Sin

          Your argument is nonsensical, the dreams of an idealist. Your ideas are harmful to people.

          There are so many problems, assumptions, and misunderstandings in your comment. I hope that you take an interest in this subject and objectively study it, study the history. Especially the production and distribution of goods. Look up Amartya Sen’s Nobel Prize research on famines.

          For instance, who defines “needs”, the basis of how goods are distributed in a Marxist system? Does production volume or manufacturing process/technology affect environmental impact more?

          You want to know what communism does to a country, read Tombstone by Yang Jisheng (墓碑: 一九五八-一九六二年中國大饑荒紀實). I hate communism. Churchill said Communism is equal distribution of misery, and he is right!

        • Mateusz82

          The essence of communism is a small government (the withering of the state) after the transition from socialism, and collective ownership of wealth by the people, including worker control of the means of production.

          And there’s not really any debate. North Korea distributes wealth pretty damn unequally. The leaders get the banquet, and the workers get the table scraps that fall on the floor.

        • jaded

          >more power to them

          That was a funny pun intentional or otherwise

      • chucky3176

        North Korea is the biggest environmental disaster that you can find anywhere. The rivers of Amnok and Tumen near the Chinese borders have thousands of bodies of North Koreans being washed up on shores in the winter. North Koreans use this river to drink and launder their clothes. Since North Koreans rely on wood to heat their homes do their cooking, and rely on plants to supplement their poor diet, they’ve stripped huge chunks of the country into deserts. Mountains (except for the mountains that the NK government religiously protects for foreign tourism reasons) are stripped clean of all life. When the summer rains come, the mountain slides and floods destroy homes and little farmlands they have (North Korea is a very mountainous hilly area unfriendly to agriculture). Without fertilizers, they depend on human excrements for farming. Each individual North Korean people are required to collect half a ton of human excrements a year per family to the government. Therefore even human excrements have become so valuable that owners of homes have to lock their outhouses with locks to prevent thefts.

      • David

        Oh come on Mr. Weiner, don’t be so cynical. 42 can show you the way to enlightenment. Darkness is good (as anybody who has ever stubbed their toe or been eaten by a mountain lion can tell you).

    • Vance

      The lights are not off in North Korea because of environmental stewardship.

    • Mateusz82

      Looked at own flaws.

      Still know that North Korea is a Hellscape ruled by a psychopathic manchild.

      • mr.wiener

        “Hellscape ruled by a psychopathic manchild.”

        Quote of the day.

        • chucky3176

          He’s not a psychopath. He just takes after his father, ruthless in protecting his power base. He purged out (executed or imprisoned in concentration camps) all the men who were loyal to Kim Jong Il, and replaced them with his own people. He’s also not very pragmatic. He visits frontline troops and complains that they’re in poor battle shape, and demands that they shape up. The thing is, many of his troops don’t get enough rations and are left to survive on their own. They forage for food, and they rob from the people. With starving men in skeletal shape, with their baggy uniforms hanging over them, they are in no shape to fight. Many of those same troops are crossing over to China, to plunder Chinese villages and murder the residents. That’s because there’s nothing much left on the North Korean side of the border to rob, not even a speck of dust. Just recently, a starved North Korean crossed over to China, and mass murdered dozens of people, after robbing them. The Chinese media of course, keeps a complete silence on this news, to protect North Korea. Also, North Korea’s suicide rates are much higher than South Korea’s suicide rate. South Korea has the highest suicide rate in the OECD, while North Korea probably leads the world. Whole families of entire villages are deciding to just off themselves instead of slowly dying of hunger pains. The problem is so acute that North Korean officials go into villages with contracts, and force the people to sign papers that says the residents will not kill themselves. The death rate, either self inflicted or not, is reflected in the population census where it shows that North Korea’s population has not grown at all in decades.

    • karpouzi

      No light on this map indicates no economic development. If you think it has nothing to do with wealth and standards of living, then please go and live in North Korea and enjoy the famine. Then we don’t have to listen to your stupid Marxist commentary.

      • David

        and we won’t have to see his posts. No internet or electricity.

    • David

      It is not a lesson at all, it is a ridiculous comment by you. No lights mean a child can not read by light to learn, a hospital can not run equipment so people die, work can not be done safely at night so people are injured and killed. Your comment sounds like some lecture you once heard and are regurgitating without giving any actual thought to the consequences of the people who must live there. you think you are saying and advocating something brilliant but you are not If you want to go live in a country with very little energy use for the common people do so, but then you could not post dumb comments to the internet. Yes, I know I am being rough with this response but life is rough sometimes but less rough than it is for the people who have to live in a country like North Korea.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Of course it isn’t bright. All the North Koreans have shut their doors and blocked their windows so the thought police can’t catch them watching ‘The Interview’

  • mr.wiener

    Happiness is ignorance.

  • 42

    Have you even read this article? It’s about addressing the sarcasm of the satellite photo ridiculing and insinuating north-korea being a backward country because it has no city lights. As if the amount of city lights represent the level of a civilized society….ridiculous assumption!

    Don’t go barking like a wild dog if you don’t understand the subject at hand.

    PRC and DPRK came into existence because of civil revolutions And barely any revolution started without human sacrifice. Any country on this planet has its shares of revolutions with human casualties, even the so called democratic nations of today came into place after many violent conflicts. You can call it crimes against humanity, I call it political evolution.

    Nowadays the PRC have lifted millions out of poverty by economic reforms, and China have become even more capitalist than any current democratic country on this planet. So change is possible even for totalitarian nations. A good example is that of Nazi Germany and the Germany of today. Germany of now can be considered the most succesful country in europe, go figure.

    Communist Vietnam has also become more liberal after winning the vietnam WAR. This is an example that democracy isn’t necessarily needed to bring about change. It could have spared many lives if people have realized it earlier.

    Imperial Japan was to blame that Korea has been divided in North and South. Russia en the United States are at fault by keeping this division alive by fighting proxy wars. If North and South Korea were to have a chance to fight their civil war and have their own revolutions, than we would not have two seperate koreas today, we would not have 2 ideologies competing with each other, we would not have korean famillies seperated from each other for decades, we would not have hostilities and conflicts that are kept alive.

    An united Vietnam has worked for the vietnamese people in the long run, even if that means being ruled by communists.

    That’s why I dont see why other nations have to meddle in the conflict of the Koreas, we arent helping and actually making it worse.

    • hang

      That’s a lot of excuses.

      I find it sad when people defend violent civil wars, or oppression, or just any sort of misery caused by despotic ruling elites. A lot of terrible things have been done before in name of ambitious men craving power, I think we’re always going to be doomed to repeat such atrocities as long as there are people out there who are willing to follow such men.

      Instead of expending energy making excuses and justifications for murder and suffering, you should spend a bit more energy on re-thinking if you’ll be willing to repeat such crimes should a charismatic and powerful man tell you to.

      Not everyone in the world wants to watch everything they value and everyone they value be destroyed for someone else’s “ism”.

      • 42

        your perception of this world is too black and white and very naive. even till this day we have groups like ISIS wanting to conquest the middle east in making an islamic state.

        however NATO and the U.N. have spent their focus the past few decades on bringing down Saddam Hussain, Gadaffi, Mubarak and so on. Not knowing that all of these middle east leaders were capable of controlling groups like ISIS of becoming stronger and stronger. and without these leaders the situation in the middle east have escalated like it is now today.

        its not an excuse, sometimes without strong dictatorship totalitarian leaders we will risk that groups arise who are even worse and who are willing to take arms and replace the ruling power. it has been like this throughout human history, and it will not change for generations to come.

        the key thing here to understand is that North-Korea with all of it flaws hardly can be compared to direct threat to the world as threats like ISIS. as I do not think Saddams rule of Iraq has any direct threat to world either.

        Communists back then were thought to be the root of evil and a direct threat to the free and democratic world, but eventually communists never became the threat as people were afraid it would be. An ideology that is a threat now, can be of no threat in the future, its just the perception of the moment and it is certainly not a given unchangeable fact.

      • Q Ball

        i think 42 knows that but what hes saying is that democracy also has its flaws, if democracy worked always why are sunnites ISIS fighthing shiite government… and yes North Korea is not the beacon of enlightenment but so aren’t the western powers

        • David

          I think 42 is an idiot without an original thought in his head and no reasoning ability at all. Now everybody knows what we both think. Good thing we don’t live in North Korea or they would not.

    • Guest

      you really are a wu mao.

    • jaded

      you really are a wu mao. The PRC has lifted millions of people out of poverty? There are 100s of millions still there.

      • Alex Dương

        The PRC has lifted millions of people out of poverty? There are 100s of millions still there.

        I think 42 often presents a one-sided picture in favor of the PRC, but those two statements aren’t necessarily contradictory. When you have over a billion people, it’s certainly reasonable that millions have been lifted from poverty while other millions have stayed in poverty.

        • jaded

          Yes, a balanced argument Alex. They are not, however, the paragons of virtue and altruism as he asserts.

          • Kai

            I’m confused, where did 42 asset that “they” are “paragons of virtue and altruism”?

            I found his original argument about light and pollution to be misguided if not horribly missing the point, but I think you’re unfairly strawmanning him here.

          • jaded

            I was being facetious perhaps, but I was commenting on the running theme of his last few posts. No he didn’t explicitly say that. He did however imply a register tantamount to that effect.

            I wasn’t IMO strawmanning.

          • Kai

            It fits the definition. The point regardless is that a person who strawmans another ends addressing what he THINKS or PREFERS the other person is saying than what they are actually saying, possibly even poisoning the well. It makes for escalating hostility.

            I don’t agree with some of what 42 is saying, and I can easily see why some people are eager to accuse him of being a wumao simply because he refuses to blanket condemn the PRC or rue the communists having come into power in various Asian states. But what exactly in the comment you replied to makes him a wumao?

            That he’s critical of the critical insinuations associated with the dark satellite photo? I think he’s being a bit of a devil’s advocate here but his argument that there is no necessary correlation between civilization and light output is, well, technically defensible (it all depends on what we consider being “civilized” is). So he challenges an assumption. This doesn’t necessarily make him a wumao.

            Next, he does attack A Realist, but are his accusations patently false? Could we consider the perspective A Realist expressed to be”barking like a wild dog”, “not understanding the subject at hand”, and of “narrow perception”? As a reply to his original comment, 42 feels A Realist is not actually responding to his point but instead making an emotional appeal, as if the crimes Kim Jong-un, the PRC, and DPRK are arguably guilty of invalidate the point 42 was making. Now, I downvoted 42’s original argument in disagreement but I don’t begrudge 42 for being annoyed by the logical fallacy A Realist used against him. While I understand A Realist’s comment as an expression of disbelief, I still understand 42’s counteraccusation.

            What’s wumao about 42’s next paragraph about political evolution? We may not like the communist revolutions that occurred in history based on our own political and social ideologies, but he didn’t say anything false or even very “wumao” here unless you consider anything that doesn’t roundly disparage communism or the PRC to be “wumao”, which is not a very reasonable or intelligent way of thinking.

            What’s wrong with the point of his following paragraph as well? He articulates his point that “change is even possible for totalitarian nations”, citing how much China and Germany has changed throughout history. This is defensible, and can even be interpreted as hopeful that China will continue to change away from its past and everything we may dislike about it.

            Why do I say it can be interpeted that way? His very next line of his next paragraph: “Communist Vietnam has also become more liberal after winning the vietnam WAR.” So 42 sees China becoming more liberal. He further elaborates on his point by saying democracy is not necessary for change, and that lives could’ve been spared if wars weren’t fought over it. Now, I’m not sold that ideological wars are unnecessary, but what’s so “wumao” about this notion?

            His last three paragraphs flesh out his point and sentiment, that maybe we shouldn’t “meddle” in other people’s affairs and let them figure things out on their own. He cites the two Korea situation as undesirable and the united Vietnam situation as arguably better though unfortunately they had to fight a war and lose lives for it, something he thinks could’ve been avoided if people just let them figure it out themselves.

            None of this is particularly “wumao”. Even if we interpret your response as ignoring everything else he said and his overall point, and was just nitpicking his remark about the PRC having lifted millions out of poverty, what’s so wumao about this? This observation has been made around the world, by tons of Westerners. Are they all “wumao”? No. It’s a simple defensible fact that the PRC has indeed markedly improved the standard of living for millions. Now, my personal retort to this is that they started from an awfully low baseline, but even then, I’d be facetious, because I understand it wasn’t the PRC’s fault China was depressed to such a low baseline at the time they took power. I also understand the PRC’s rule hasn’t resulted in magnificent governance that has smoothly raised living standards in China, but as a fact, it’s completely defensible and even widely accepted by people who aren’t “wumao”.

            So, you arguably made a lazy ad hominem strawman attack of him. It was an unjustified accusation. I hope you can recognize this and why it doesn’t make for constructive discussion but risks devolving a conversation into name-calling and trying to shout down people just because we SUSPECT they hold views we find intolerable. Dissect, challenge, and disagree, but don’t just throw out arbitrary accusations.

          • jaded

            OK Alex point taken. I suppose I let my value judgements colour my response. Actually I hate strawmanship!

  • Small twon

    I know why China is backing N.Korea(N.Korea can’t stand without Chinese support) but is it worth ? S.Korea is proven,profitable business partner for many countries and much much better neighbor than mad one with atomic bomb.
    For the good of humanity, I think any future scenario is better without N.Korea’s madness.

    • sk8erry

      Definitely worth it. N.Korea is too close to Beijing. How many F22 are there in S.Korea? Imagine the same air force is deployed in N.Korea? Beijing will be panicked.

      • Small twon

        How many F22 stationed in Korea ? answer : none.
        (except N.Korea madness is out of control -I mean more than usual rate-,couple of them fly from Okinawa)
        Considering how many jets Chinese got and Chinese ICBM,radar network they have nothing to worry.

  • Irvin

    I actually prefer less lights at night. Of all the years I’ve been in china, the most stars I could see I could count with two hands. Most people these days don’t realize how beautiful the night sky is any more.

    I still remember travelling to the boarder of brazil from suriname, the rout there was completely dark for miles and when I looked up, I was stun and mesmerized. My friend’s exact words were “I never seen so many stars in my life!”.

    • James


    • David

      Yes Irvin, but you must realize there is a difference between too much light pollution and no electricity to run your country. I think most people love a dark night when it is our CHOICE. But when you are working in a factory or doing surgery in a hospital or trying to teach a child to read (or even trying not to get eaten by a wolf) most people would choose to have some lights on at night.

  • hang

    A pet that’s wearing out its welcome more and more all the time.

    China is starting to re-think how wise it is to keep a barking rabid hound in their front yard to keep people away, that hound might bite its owner some day.

    • Sophia Dalke

      China’s relationship with Korea has been a rollercoaster for two thousand years, most of it openly or inferentially hostile. They’ve been simultaneously a buffer and a liability more or less the entire time, but never much of a direct threat. Even now China’s main fear remains a scenario where millions of refugees might try to flee a collapsing DPRK and take root in a China that does’t want and can’t handle them. It would be especially bad if China couldn’t find a way to make it politically feasible to make the DPRK’s territory into a protectorate/mandate in the case of collapse.

      I don’t think that the CCP is terribly afraid of most other scenarios of regional destabilization, up to and including a Korean War II, since the PRC is in a good position to mediate the aftermath and set up very favorable terms for a North Korean “recovery” should such be necessary.

  • Willie Nailer

    Dear Leader looks like he “undoes his waistband” at every meal.

  • yurah

    Well at least the North Korean people can see the stars at night…

    • vonskippy

      So you and your telescope should book a star party to NK and let us know how it goes. My guess, you’ll be beat senseless multiple times, locked up, and labeled a spy.

      There’s a zillion places on the planet that have dark skies and no ruling dick…er….dictator to suppress his people into the stone age.

    • Mihel

      Yeah, they only had to give up this useless little thing called street lighting…

  • YourSupremeCommander

    But, but, but folks… you have to compare DURING THE DAY!

    • Mihel

      Fifty Shades of Greyjing.

  • Ha Hon Dai

    Love how Chinese citizens look down on North Korea. Basically their own country short time ago was the same and the Chinese government has not changed

    much with a one party system still in place. A communist government, that has led China to be one of the most run down countries on the planet, then brought some economic development (median income is still very low), risks to have leaders again in the future that bring the country back to a state similar to Kim country. With economic progress, political progress is vital. Unfortunately CCP does not see it in this way…

  • Mighty曹

    “Dark” humor at its best.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    They could market NK as the “Ideal land for astronomy observations, due to complete lack of light pollution”.

  • Xio Gen

    It’s actually a lot better than the original 2003 photo Rumsfeld used. There are two or three lights now instead of pitch blackness. But man would it be amazing to go stargazing on Mt Baekdu. No light pollution!

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