The Incredible Isolation Of North Korea — In One Map

North Korea is often referred to as “The Hermit Kingdom” in the west — and one map demonstrates why.

The website MarineTraffic displays live data of cargo ships over 299 gross tonnage, and while South Korean ports of Incheon, Busan, and Ulsan are bustling with activity, shipboard cargo movement in the North barely registers, despite the country having eight major seaports.

City AM notes:

Perhaps looking at volumes of shipping to each of the Koreas is an unfair comparator, as North Korea is able to take greater advantage of rail links to the continent, but neighboring China itself is a hive of cargo ship activity. The port of Dandong, close to the China-North Korea border is itself incredibly popular.

The North does trade with a limited number of countries with about $3.9 billion in exports. But that’s nothing compared to South Korea’s $557 billion, Japan’s $697 billion, or China’s $2.2 trillion.

It’s just another striking difference between South Korea and North Korea, a country without widespread electricity usage seen as virtually dark from space.