Pictures really do tell the story about how far behind economically North Korea is compared with its neighbors.
In 2002, as Eyder has said, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld used a satellite photo to illustrate how in-the-dark the communist nation was.
Twelve years later, a new photo taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station shows that, if anything, the differences are even more stark. As NASA says:
"North Korea is almost completely dark compared to neighboring South Korea and China. The darkened land appears as if it were a patch of water joining the Yellow Sea to the Sea of Japan. Its capital city, Pyongyang, appears like a small island, despite a population of 3.26 million (as of 2008). The light emission from Pyongyang is equivalent to the smaller towns in South Korea."