Trump: North Korean Defector Prayed For Freedom

Amber Athey White House Correspondent

President Donald Trump again recognized Ji Seong-ho, the North Korean defector whose story he shared at the State of the Union, during Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast.


Seong-ho lost one of his legs and one of his hands as a child as a result of being run over by a train. Seong-ho would often steal coal from railroad cars to exchange it for food, and one day he passed out from hunger on the train tracks. (RELATED: Trump Shares Story Of North Korean Dissident At SOTU)

He would later be tortured by North Korean officials for being disabled and for taking a brief trip to China. Trump credited the power of prayer with giving Seong-ho the strength to endure his torture and eventually defect to South Korea.

“Last week, during the State of the Union, the world was inspired by the story of a North Korean defector, Mr. Ji Seong-ho, who is now back in South Korea,” Trump said. “Before his escape, when Seong-ho was being tortured by North Korean officials, there was one thing that kept him from losing hope.”

“Over and over again he recited the Lord’s Prayer,” Trump declared. “He prayed for peace and he prayed for freedom, and now, as you know, Seong-ho is free and is a symbol of hope to millions of people around the world.”

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