Joy Yoon

Co-founder & International Director, Ignis Community

Region(s): Asia
Country of focus: North Korea, South Korea
Based in South Korea

Joy Yoon (@JoyYoon9) is the Co-founder and International Director of Ignis Community, an international NGO that provides medical treatment to children with behavioral and developmental disabilities in North Korea. Having had more than 10 years of experience living and working in North Korea, Joy Yoon brings a unique perspective on civilian life inside the country.

An Ignis Community plan to open the Pyongyang Spine Rehabilitation Center in 2020 was delayed by restrictions and the border closure due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. While she does not live now in North Korea, she and colleagues have special validation passports from the U.S. State Department to continue humanitarian work.

Joy Yoon’s humanitarian work in the DPRK has been highlighted in TIME Magazine, Missions Frontiers, Plough, and as well as other publications. Her first published book, Discovering Joy: Ten Years in North Korea was released on October 26, 2018. She is the co-author of the 2019 report on the human costs and gendered impact of sanctions against North Korea. 

She is currently working on a second book describing the journey of her family’s work and life in North Korea.