North Korea has long been known to plunge into darkness overnight, choosing not to light even its city streets. Now it's justified its love of the deep, black night.

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In an editorial in North Korea's main (state-run) newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, the darknessā€”seen in contrast to South Korea in the image aboveā€”is explained with reference to the west. The Wall Street Journal translates:

"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... An old superpower that is meeting its sunset may put up a face of arrogance but it can't avoid its dark fate."

In other words, the likes of the U.S. may soon similar darknessā€”or perhaps something more sinister. It's hard to tell, given the writing's soaked in so much breathless rhetoric. For now though, whatever the Rodong Sinmun writes, North Korea's lack of lighting remains a clear sign that it's a country in economic ruin. [WSJ]

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Image by NASA