The Hard Way Out

Impatient for freedom, more and more North Koreans are risking their lives to cross the cold war's last frontier

Cho Chang Ho, 63, has been to hell and lived to tell about it. The South Korean army lieutenant was reported killed in action during the Korean War, and he had been forgotten, even by his family. But all those years Cho was alive in North Korea. Last week he finally made it home and recounted his story in a tearful hospital reunion with his sisters and brother in Seoul. He says he was captured by Chinese soldiers and forced to fight in the North Korean army. When he tried to escape, he was sentenced to 12 years in a notorious...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!