A NASA astronaut had the chance to see North Korea from the ISS – International Space Station between 2015 and 2016. The astronaut was an ISS Commander in three space expeditions, and he spent 520 days in space. During his time there, he saw the famous blackouts that affect North Korea every single night. He described the entire experience in a video conference. He was asked about the country, and he said it is an “ocean of darkness” between bright countries.
He said that he was shocked that this is the real situation of those people. When it comes to electricity, from what they’ve seen from out there, Pyongyang looks like a smidge of light, an ocean of darkness. In comparison to Seoul, which is placed in the south, it’s like you’re seeing night and day. He said that the entire situation is sad.
During the day, you can see that the air does not look clean over North Korea, but it’s not from the country’s industry. It comes from China. So their problem is not only that they don’t have electricity, but their air is also polluted. Their situation is terrible, and it’s shocking to see it with your own eyes.
North Korea, in order to preserve energy, they turn off lights for the night. When you see it from space, the only visible source of light is the capital Pyongyang, where is the power of the brutal regime that North Korea follows.
The situation in North Korea is difficult
For example, it is illegal for people to leave the country without the permission of the regime. The regime also restricts people from moving inside the country, too. If you want to go to another part of the country, you need to have a specific reason and then obtain permission from your work unit. If people don’t live in Pyongyang, then it’s rare for the regime to approve the access.