A village near the Dooman River, the natural border between China and North Korea. Although the village is ethnically Chinese, the language spoken is Korean. Like in most Chinese rural areas, only the elderly and children have remained, all able-bodied adults having gone to the big cities for work.
Chang-ho, a twelve-year-old boy, becomes friends with Jeong-jin, a North Korean refugee who has made it across the river. The constant flow of emigrants soon exasperates the village inhabitants. Chang-ho's friendship is soon put to a harsh test.