It's no secret that life in North Korea is bad, just like it's no secret that life in the Hunger Games' Panem blows harder than Gale. That's why North Korea gives their people an outside threat. America is more likely to invade Mexico than North Korea, but as long as Uncle Sam is portrayed as the harbinger of the apocalypse, the excuse for oppression is there.
Both governments rule through fear. But North Korea's fear is external, like my fear of the sentient bees that are keeping me trapped in my bedroom. Their propaganda portrays hard work and sacrifice as necessities to hold off the evils of the outside world. Living with poverty and surveillance isn't bad compared to being invaded and killed, right? Everything bad that ever happens in a dictatorship can be blamed on a mysterious external enemy, be they Americans, Jews, or the dreaded Communazis.
Panem's fear is internal. Teenagers are forced to fight to the death for no reason beyond reminding everyone of how mean the government is. There's no external enemy, aside from vague insinuations that the world is a wasteland. So everything bad that ever happens can be blamed on either the government (who makes you sacrifice your children) or the rival districts (which are controlled by the government, have a higher quality of life, and kill your kids).
A North Korean can't fly to America and kick some white guy's ass, but he can fight that fear by joining the military and being a productive member of society. The only thing Panemians (?) can do is suffer and get beaten, so the desire to fight that fear grows until you've got a rebellion. Fictional evil governments and real evil governments both rule through fear, but only the fictional ones are dumb enough to give its citizens a fear they can punch in the face.