I recently read an article about Moon Sung Lim, a North Korean who was arrested four times by China's police when she was attempting her escape from North Korea.
Her family who attempted to escape with her either lost their lives or are nowhere to be found, and Moon also almost lost her life. However Moon did not give up and she finally escaped North Korea in 2002.
Even right now there are countless people attempting escape from North Korea just like Moon Sung Lim. It is truly tragic to think how bad a country can be if its own people want to escape it.
But North Korea is only focused on stopping these escapees rather than actually providing the means for these people to stay and survive. Does North Korea not know why these people are escaping in the first place?
For the past half a century, South Korea has tortured many of its own citizens including artists and academics, creating South Korean refugees such as Dong Hyun Choi in the West. Among them was the composer Isang Yun (1917-1995). Following South Korea’s abduction and torture of him before sentencing him to death, Isang Yun was taken as a political refugee by the then West Germany and was naturalised as German. His music, whilst banned in South Korea for the rest of his life, has been widely performed in North Korea and around the world.
[and referring to Dong Hyun Choi himself, the site's main subject] ... South Korea disapproved of his success and pressed him to return to Korea and do army as a soldier in its military for 3 years. Little by little, South Korea destroyed his career. In 1996, South Korea brutalised him in an act of torture. In 1998, he was no longer given a passport by South Korea. In 1999, a letter from the UK Parliament was sent to the South Korean Foreign Minister Soon Young Hong, asking South Korea to leave Dong Hyun Choi alone free. International figures endorsed this, among them, the conductor Sir Colin Davis. Apart from acknowledging the letter, South Korea did not respond to it. The UK subsequently took Dong Hyun Choi as a political refugee, naturalised him as British, and gave him a new identity.
It is, as you say, "truly tragic to think how bad a country can be if its own people want to escape it".