North Korean Defectors Tell Trump Their Stories At White House

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By Ryan Pickrell
Daily Caller News Foundation

President Donald Trump welcomed a handful of North Korean defectors at the White House, inviting each of them to share their stories with him in the Oval Office.

Among the defectors were former political prisoners, money men, and even political elite who risked everything for a taste of freedom. In addition to the young man Ji Seong-ho who made a special appearance at the State of the Union address Tuesday night, others in attendance at the White House on Friday included Jung Gwang Il, Kim Young Soon, Jung “Peter” Young, Lee Hyeonseo, and Kim Kwang-jin, according to a White House pool report.

Two more stayed outside because they are concerned that appearing on camera could get them killed, the president revealed on camera.

This is “a very special group of people” who escaped a very “tough place to live,” Trump explained, going on to call their often tragic stories “incredible and truly inspirational.”

Kim Young Soon survived the infamous Yodok Political Prison Camp No. 15, a horrific place she was sent because she knew too much about Kim Jong Il’s wife, a high school friend.

She, along with the rest of her family, were sent to the notoriously brutal camp, that claimed the lives of most of her family and left her young son severely disabled. Once an aspiring dancer who rolled with the political elite, she was sent to a place where rape, murder, torture, and even cannibalism were not uncommon, and it was all because she learned the secrets of the ruling family.

Jung Gwang Il was also sent to Yodok, but for alleged espionage. He now works to get information into North Korea to weaken the Kim regime’s grip on absolute power. Speaking to Trump in the Oval Office, he revealed that he personally translated the president’s State of the Union address and sent it into North Korea for the people to see.

Lee Hyeonseo told Trump that she comes “from the most ridiculous country on earth,” adding that leaving North Korea is like leaving another universe, not another country.

Known as the “Girl with Seven Names,” she changed her name frequently in China to escape arranged marriages, brothels, and police eager to repatriate her.

She praised Trump for his tough stance on North Korea, including his promise in 2017 to deal with North Korea regardless of whether or not China helps. She said she cried tears of joy when she heard the news, and the same was true for his speech before the South Korean National Assembly that shined a spotlight on extreme human rights abuses in North Korea.

Ji, whose story became famous worldwide this past week, told the president that this entire experience has been “unimaginable,” further commenting this is an honor he will never forget. He has dedicated his life to telling stories of North Korea’s atrocities and has helped hundreds of defectors find freedom. Ji told Trump he is glad that the president is paying attention to the people of North Korea.


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