While living near the North Korean border, Mike operated undercover as a student of North Korean taekwondo, training and competing under two famous North Korean masters from Pyongyang—eventually receiving a second-degree black belt. He legally changed his name and conducted all North Korean operations while using an alias. He successfully led many sex trafficking victims to safety in Southeast Asia using drug trafficking routes in the region, all while enduring harrowing experiences, including interrogation, house arrest, and being held at gunpoint.
Mike authored the Wall Street Journal-featured book Escaping North Korea, a memoir about his experiences at the China-North Korea border helping North Korean refugees escape through a 6,000-mile modern-day underground railroad. He founded Crossing Borders, a nonprofit dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to North Korean refugees. Currently, his book and life story is being developed into a feature film.Mike frequently appears in the media: He has been a guest on Anderson Cooper 360, Fox News, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He has also been interviewed by BBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, CBS, and Al Jazeera. Mike speaks to audiences worldwide, including a variety of companies, universities, and government organizations on five continents.