You can never be too careful when plotting an escape from North Korea. Even immediate family members may report you. Watch KWOW episode 97 to find out the perils of making it to South Korea.
North Korean defector Shin Dong-Hyuk confesses he betrayed his family. Upon reporting his mother's plan to escape their country, she was hung. His brother was shot. While he'd apologize if he could travel back in time, he never felt emotionally connected with them enough to feel sadness. After all the slave labor camp in which he was born and raised in allowed limited time for families to bond.
Lee Hyeon-Seo shares her challenging journey of bringing her family to South Korea. Listen to her story and you'll see why luck plays a significant role in escaping successfully.
Additional links to check out:
Ask a North Korean: Why I Had to Leave
The Smuggler Named Dragon
Crossing the frozen Tumen River
More Stories of Escape... Resourceful citizens created black markets
Support North Korean Refugees via LiNK
And don't forget to read Barbara Demick's "Nothing to Envy."