I've been doing a lot of spying on North Korea via Google Earth the last few days. It was interesting to discover obvious military installations, especially submarines docked at various ports around the country. However, what was more interesting was what wasn't obvious. There were areas that were 'tagged' as being concentration camps complete with guard towers and the like. While from a critical standpoint, I'm not sure if these identifications are accurate. I was able to identify what looked like some large coal mine operations.
What I did note after a while was the complete lack of traffic. Admittedly, it's difficult to judge these details when viewing satellite images, but after spending quite a bit of time comparing Pyongyang with Seoul, the very first thing that you're struck with when viewing Pyongyang is, where the hell are the cars? Even via satellite, car traffic is immediately apparent when viewing Seoul. But when scanning Pyongyang, the streets are quite literally empty. I did a quick search on Pyongyang, looking for insights into what kind of traffic they had: very little, apparently. This video is an anecdotal confirmation of my observations. Other Google Earth place markers also made comment, one marked "Roads with no one to drive on them"
My interest in North Korea has been piqued by recent events there. While I knew in general the the country was a truly old style Stalinist Regime, I'm beginning to really appreciate the extent of this. I guess I placed it on par with China. China, in my estimation is nothing like North Korea.
During my Google Earth tour, I found many city names on which I searched for information. Any information. I was stunned to find out just how little information there is on North Korean cities and towns. Some information so scant you begin to wonder if they officially exist.
This country appears to be a dark place. I can only wonder how truly desperate its people are.
As of a few minutes ago, MSNBC reports that Kim Jong Il is "sorry" for his nuclear test.
This country needs to be liberated. Communism is evil.