Exclusive: Inside North Korea With the Rev. Franklin Graham

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This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 5, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Very few have ever gotten inside North Korea, but we got lucky. We have just returned from a rare trip to the communist nation.

And guess what? We brought our cameras so that you can go inside North Korea, too. All this week, you will take that trip with us.

North Korea, a communist country-their communist government looks at Americans with a distrusting eye. So how did we get in? We traveled with the Reverend Franklin Graham and the organization that he runs, "Samaritans First."

Samaritans First makes huge humanitarian contributions around the world, and one of their lucky recipients has been North Korea. Shortly after Reverend Graham arrived we spoke to him about the purpose of the trip and what he expected would happen.


VAN SUSTEREN: I want to talk about your trip, and we are going to spend a couple of days with you and this project, but first, North Korea-- your family has a long, rich history in this country.

REV. FRANKLIN GRAHAM: My mother was born in China. Her father was a surgeon in a missionary hospital and spent 25 years in China. My mother came here to high school in Pyongyang. And I remember as a young boy my mother sharing her experiences living here in this city.

Watch Greta's interview with the Rev. Franklin Graham

For me to be able to come back and to work here where my mother went to school is personal to me.

VAN SUSTEREN: When your father came here in 1992, what was his reason to come?

GRAHAM: He got an invitation to come. And for some reason, I do not understand this, it is a little bit of a mystery, but President Kim Il Sung for some reason like my father, and gave my father a big bear hug when he met him, and called him family.

VAN SUSTEREN: When you come here, and this is your second trip here, are you able to preach? Is there any resistance to your preaching? Because I know you come here for the mobile dental clinic and all the great work that Samaritans First does. But what about preaching?

GRAHAM: It is not allowed outside of churches. We will be preaching Sunday morning in one of their local churches-I think they have four local churches, and I will have the opportunity to preach in one of them.

But as far as taking a stadium like we would in the United States or in other countries, no, that is not possible here. Many of the communist countries, or former communist countries, only allow you to preach on church property, and they will not allow you to preach outside of church property.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you coordinate with the United States government or do you have to get any sort of permission to come here?

GRAHAM: To come to this country, you do not necessarily have to have the permission. But to work here, to bring relief supplies in, you have to have support of the government.

There has not been any hindrance from the government whatsoever. We have had a very good relationship with the United States government.

There are issues sometimes, because there are laws that are on the books that sometimes you just have to navigate around, and you have to have people help in Washington to do that.

VAN SUSTEREN: Give me a brief of what we're going to see in the next couple of days, because we will be following you around?

GRAHAM: Who know?

I think we will see some of the projects that we have done. We will see one of the projects that we are doing with the U.S. government, and this is generators in one of the hospitals. We will see one the hospitals that we are installing one of these generators.

We are getting ready to start a food distribution program for the World Food Program. And we will see maybe the intensive care unit that we have put in.

And I will have an opportunity to meet with some of the government officials and talk to them about things that we have for them and some requests that we have made to them.

VAN SUSTEREN: Your father, of course, met the "Great Leader." Have you ever met the "Dear Leader?"

GRAHAM: No, I haven't met him.

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you expect like son and son, the son of Reverend Billy Graham and the son of--

GRAHAM: I don't know. He doesn't meet many foreigners, we know that. There is just a handful of western people that he has met with.

So if that opportunity exists I would love to meet him and have a chance to talk to him about spiritual things. Because the church here in the people's Democratic Republic of Korea, I want to try to help the church that is here and have better relations and better understanding as it relates to the church. And so, I think that by working with the government, they can see that we are not the bad guys, that Christians can make a positive impact on society for the good. And I want them to know that.


VAN SUSTEREN: All right, now that is just the beginning. We will have much more throughout the week about our trip to North Korea. And you can see pictures and video inside of North Korea 24 hours a day at Gretawire.com.

And, remember, getting into North Korea is rare, so do take advantage of what we are posting.

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