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(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
World News

Trump mentions Christian defector in State of the Union address

by Cara Bentley

The State of the Union is a chance for the incumbent US President to reveal their thoughts on the past year and highlight their policies for the coming months.

President Trump took the opportunity to talk about keeping Guantanamo Bay open and also to criticise the North Korean regime, by referencing Ji Seong-ho who was in the audience.

Ji Seong-ho, who grew up in North Korea before escaping, "was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China", according to President Trump.

Describing his life story to an audience of millions, President Trump said: "His tormentors wanted to know if he had met any Christians [in China]; he had, and he resolved to be free"

Prior to his China visit, Ji Seong-ho had a train run over his limbs as he'd passed out on the train tracks trying to get coal to exchange for food.

Trump said Seong-ho "travelled thousands of miles on crutches across China and Southeast Asia to freedom" but that he still keeps his crutches "as a reminder of how far you've come".

Watching from the crowds as Trump said "your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all", an emotional Seong-ho stood and lifted his crutches in their air triumphantly.

Ji Seong-ho now lives in South Korea and has founded Now Action and Unity for Human Rights, who work for Korean unification and helping defectors from North Korea integrate and stay safe in the countries they defect to.

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