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A person who fled North Korea as a young person revealed that his Christian religion and his success in America led him again to his residence nation to feed famine-stricken individuals, saving numerous lives.

Fox Information Digital spoke with 85-year-old Joon Bai, a humanitarian, creator and award-winning film producer who, with assist from his spouse, Kyuhee, returned many instances to his birthplace for philanthropic assist to farmers and orphans.

“North Koreans, they do not know faith. They do not know Jesus Christ, Muhammad or Buddha. Educating them that there’s life afterward, there’s an eternity. I am seeding faith into their minds. That is my biggest achievement,” Bai stated.

In his new memoir, “Guarantees: The Life and Love of an American Born in North Korea,” Bai recounts his extraordinary life and tales of braveness, overcoming adversity and discovering hope.


Joon Bai is a successful entrepreneur and humanitarian. With the support from the love of his life, his wife, Kyuhee, he returned many times to his birthplace, North Korea, to assist farmers, orphans and numerous others with philanthropic support. 

Joon Bai is a profitable entrepreneur and humanitarian. With the assist from the love of his life, his spouse, Kyuhee, he returned many instances to his birthplace, North Korea, to help farmers, orphans and quite a few others with philanthropic assist.  (Fox Information Digital )

The guide, he hopes, will communicate for the 23 million North Koreans who wouldn’t have a voice.

“We all know little or no about North Korea. We actually do not know something. The one factor we all know is what the media tells us about missiles and Kim Jong Un.”

However, what about the remainder of these individuals? Who’re they? What do they consider?

North Korea has closed its fences, so they do not know what’s outdoors, Bai famous. The identical applies to the within of the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the place individuals solely hypothesize about what crops and animals thrive there.

Vacationers from different nations are solely allowed to locations in North Korea underneath a information. Bai stated they’re advised what they’re allowed to see, do not speak to individuals on the road and will not be allowed to take footage until accredited beforehand.

Bai has visited North Korea quite a few instances during the last twenty years, visiting essentially the most desolate locations to sit down and speak with the farmers and the orphans. They do not have neighbors with BMWs or Mercedes-Benz autos. As an alternative, they reside off rations, solely what the federal government supplies them to eat.  

“That village, these farmers, to them, there is not any such factor as homicide or killings. I might by no means say that right here it occurs on a regular basis within the again streets of Oakland, Brooklyn, or Detroit, Michigan.”


Promises is a unique and intimate look inside North Korea and the life of Joon Bai, offering lessons he has learned about courage, challenges, and hope.

Guarantees is a novel and intimate look inside North Korea and the lifetime of Joon Bai, providing classes he has discovered about braveness, challenges, and hope. (Trans Western Photos LLC (Jenkins))

Throughout his North Korean travels, he wrote and co-produced the award-winning film, “The Different Facet of the Mountain,” a characteristic movie that was the primary collaboration between an American and the North Korean authorities. The film particulars a love story with a message near Koreans on each side of the border, unification.

Through the film’s manufacturing, Bai did not pay a dime to the actors as a result of there is not any such factor as pay in North Korea.

“Within the U.S., you make a film, 20 or 30% of the finances goes to the highest actors. Tom Cruise is an enormous a part of the finances for that film. In North Korea, there isn’t a such factor,” Bai stated.

In North Korea, residents should have a allow if greater than 5 – 6 individuals get collectively. Bai stated that is prone to forestall them from beginning a revolution.


From his early childhood years in what’s now North Korea, Bai lived by way of the devastation of World Conflict II and the Korean Conflict. Bai’s household ultimately left their hometown in North Korea — close to the Chinese language border — and made the journey to Seoul, South Korea, on foot.

The Korean Conflict had a devastating toll on Koreans. However, do you have to ask, the individuals on each side of the DMZ would inform you there are worse issues than the cruelty of the guy man.

“Winter in Korea was the worst,” Bai stated.

The Northern tip of North Korea has the identical local weather as Siberia. Bai stated he needed to hold shifting or freeze to loss of life to outlive. He walked for six weeks with out something to eat.

After residing in South Korea, Bai got here to the US as an alternate pupil. After incomes his engineering diploma, he launched into a profitable profession in enterprise, working in pure fuel amongst Fortune 500 CEOs. Ultimately, Bai opened his personal manufacturing facility in rural Pennsylvania. The manufacturing facility employed 400 individuals and all people on the town knew any individual who labored for Bai.

“It was my approach of paying again what I used to be given. Great nation,” Bai stated.

Wanting again on his city in Missouri and Pennsylvania, Bai stated he by no means felt discriminated in opposition to. He additionally stated he’s “deeply grateful to his new nation, America, for embracing him and giving him each alternative.”

“I hate to say I feel we’re strolling backward in the present day,” Bai stated. “So, I hope the individuals learn my guide and say, effectively, this child got here from Korea and he did good issues and he liked his spouse to the tip. Possibly we should always be taught one thing from him. Possibly I needs to be somewhat nicer to my spouse and children tonight.”

“These had been the times you possibly can smoke within the airplane,” he laughed.


In this undated photo provided on July 23, 2020 by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, visits a new chicken farm being built in Hwangju County, North Korea.

On this undated picture supplied on July 23, 2020 by the North Korean authorities, North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, heart, visits a brand new hen farm being inbuilt Hwangju County, North Korea. (Korean Central Information Company/Korea Information Service by way of AP, File)

Rising up, Bai noticed how the world was recovering from the aftermath of Adolf Hitler’s rule in Germany. At this time, individuals communicate equally of Vladimir Putin and North Korea.

“At this time, we now have these individuals residing in North Korea and we expect all 23 million are evil individuals. They aren’t, solely a handful of leaders,” Bai stated. “Generally, when you do not have freedom, you might be actually harmless.”

Bai says he doesn’t consider North Korea can strike the US with ICBM missiles. He thinks it’s all a defensive measure. He additionally doesn’t consider North Korea may efficiently invade South Korea.

“They hold capturing one or two missiles yearly simply to inform the world, ‘I am somewhat rat cornered. I can chunk you one time earlier than I die,'” Bai stated.

In January 1997, it was raining so onerous in San Francisco, California, that Bai may barely see out his automotive windshield. He was listening to the radio when he heard over 100,000 kids had died of hunger in North Korea. That evening, he got here residence and advised his spouse.

“We simply could not eat. We could not sleep,” Bai stated.


In this photo provided by the North Korean government, a huge North Korean flag is displayed during a celebration of the nation’s 73rd anniversary at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021. 

On this picture supplied by the North Korean authorities, an enormous North Korean flag is displayed throughout a celebration of the nation’s 73rd anniversary at Kim Il Sung Sq. in Pyongyang, North Korea, early Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.  (Korean Central Information Company/Korea Information Service by way of AP)

His spouse would usually ask him how there are such a lot of orphans in North Korea. He advised her their mother and father had died of hunger. The children usually reside longer than their mother and father, whether or not a couple of extra weeks or days.

Infants drink their mom’s milk till the father or mother dies. The federal government then picks up the kids and brings them to the orphanages.

Bai stated younger children die within the orphanages for 2 causes: Diarrhea and water. They do not have purification amenities and so they can not digest the meals they’re given. These amenities usually wouldn’t have milk, so they supply the kids with onerous meals like corn.

“You feed that to a one-year-old child, she dies,” Bai stated.

Throughout a Korean Winter, the bottom is agency and the orphanages solely have a couple of younger feminine volunteer nurses. So, they throw the our bodies subsequent to the barns, stacking them up right into a frozen pile. When spring comes and the snow melts, they dig into the earth and bury these kids.

The malnutrition has triggered North Koreans to be as much as three inches shorter than South Koreans on common and have a 20-point distinction when it comes to IQ.

“I am not an AP press author or United Press Worldwide. I am simply an odd man who occurred to be born in North Korea and liked the individuals, and have become rich, obtained assets. So, I went again and fed them,” Bai stated.

A buddy advised Bai to ship a palette of meals to the North Korean authorities, so he did. The leaders of North Korea wrote again to him, thanking him, which opened the door for him to return to his nation.

Bai spent shut to at least one million {dollars} of his financial savings and commenced procuring items like corn, potatoes, hairclips, and washing machines in China for 5 – 6 years. He then took these items and introduced them over to North Korea. He did this till 2019, when journey to North Korea was closed underneath the Trump administration.

A lot of the meals went to younger children going by way of the training system in North Korea.


People watch a TV showing a file image of North Korea's missile launch during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 7, 2022. 

Folks watch a TV exhibiting a file picture of North Korea’s missile launch throughout a information program on the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, Could 7, 2022.  (AP Picture/Ahn Younger-joon)

“These children, they break the bread in half and convey the remainder residence to their mother and father,” he stated. “So, after I noticed that, I believed, giving bread and rice and all that isn’t sufficient. I’ve to show them the right way to develop the farm merchandise.”

That’s when Bai began what he described as his “agricultural revolution.”

Bai went to China and employed farm specialists who helped him train the poor individuals of North Korea seeding, rising and mulching over the course of a number of years.

Based on Bai, when he left North Korea, they produced 1,000 instances extra rice per season than in earlier years. He thought that no person would go hungry if he may do this for the remainder of the nation. He succeeded.

Whereas staying in a lodge room within the nation, Bai dropped to the bottom and cried. Folks he labored with rushed over to ask if he was OK. One individual stated that was when God got here to his coronary heart.

“It’s in that course of of having the ability and prepared to assist different individuals, the religion grew. And I feel God referred to as me. It simply occurred very naturally,” Bai stated. “My thoughts was filled with ardour to assist these children. Each second, my thoughts was targeted on that.”


It was an effort, Bai notes, that was impressed by his spouse and the Christian religion his mom instilled in him. The guide is devoted to these two ladies, two shining pillars in his life.

He visits his spouse’s grave each week, sitting amongst stunning bushes, recent air and rolling hills. His mom’s ashes reside with him at his residence in Pleasanton, California.

After studying his story, Bai hopes that others might be impressed to make a change and unfold love all through the world.

“At this time, I consider no matter I did is God’s will. He selected me to do sure issues,” he stated. “That is actually what it is all about. God’s religion in me gave me the braveness to like different individuals. So, no matter is left of my life, I am smiling.”

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