Beyond the Border

A Korean’s Journey Between the North and South

Born in 1931 in Korea, Tae-hyok Kim grows up being forced to speak Japanese and bow to the Emperor every day in school. His family longs for freedom from the Japanese occupation. But life takes a dramatic turn for the worse when his country is divided into North and South after World War II.

At the age of fifteen, he leaves his family in North Korea, venturing south in search of an education. But crossing the treacherous border—the 38th Parallel—comes with its own set of risks. At one point, he’s even captured by the border guards.

Choosing to stay in South Korea to escape the grips of communism in his hometown, Tae-hyok finds himself unexpectedly enlisting in the South Korean Army. But then the Korean War starts. And amidst the chaos of war, Tae-hyok wonders if he’s fighting against his own brothers or friends from the North.

From a life of poverty and Japanese oppression to the journey as a soldier in the Korean War, BEYOND THE BORDER tells the extraordinary true story of growing up in a severed, warring nation and the atrocities of “The Forgotten War.”

“A poignant testament to Tae-hyok’s resilience and the indomitable spirit of those who lived through that tumultuous era.” —Reader review

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