In these amazing digital images taken from outer space by the International Space Station (ISS), the sharp contrast between North Korea and South Korea is perfectly captured, like a metaphor for darkness versus light.

NASA released this digital photo taken by astronauts from the ISS on January 30, 2014. The comparison between the city lights dramatically illustrates the disparate economic activities between the two countries. The darkened land of North Korea practically disappears between its two neighbors, China and South Korea. Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, has over 3 million people but appears as if it were a small town in South Korea, while Seoul, South Korea's capital, has 25.6 million people and shines like a bright diamond in this fantastic night view.

Here's the time-lapse video of East Asia as viewed from the ISS: