ICONIC: North Korean Dissident Ji Seong-Ho Holds Up Crutches After President Trump Praises Him in SOTU

Ji Seong-ho holds up his crutches after his introduction by President Trump during the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Ji Seong-Ho, a North Korean dissident, held up his crutches during the State of the Union address Tuesday when the young man was recognized by President Donald Trump.

During the speech, Trump told Seong-Ho’s story as it relates to the “ominous nature” of the North Korean “regime.”

“One day he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food, which were very hard to get. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger,” President Trump said. “He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain or the hurt. His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt, themselves, permanently stunting their own growth. Later he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he’d met any Christians. He had and he resolved after that to be free. Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches all across China and southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape and was tortured to death. Today, he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears most. The truth. Today, he has a new leg, but Seong-ho, I understand you still keep those old crutches as a reminder of how far you have come. Your great sacrifice is an inspiration to us all. Please. Thank you.”

The audience applauded as Trump wrapped his remarks about Seong-H0.

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