Me and My Crutches – a North Korean Defector’s Story

North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho, currently a law student at Dongguk University, holds up his crutches during U.S. President Donald Trump's State of the Union address to a joint session of the U.S. Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. January 30, 2018.

Me and My Crutches – a North Korean Defector’s Story

We Say: A North Korean defector on crutches at the SOTU address applauds American values more than the Democrats do.

Did you notice that Democrats at the SOTU address sat stone-faced and pouted as President Trump ticked off promises kept to the American people, including:

  • Unemployment claims at a 45-year low
  • Black unemployment at an all-time low
  • Hispanic unemployment lowest in history
  • $8 trillion increase in stock values
  • Retirement, pension, & savings accounts up
  • Biggest tax cuts in US history

The North Korean defector who escaped on crutches, reached this country, and attended the SOTU applauded these American successes!!

Let that comparison sink in.


Republished from Reuters.com, Seung-Woo Yeom, February 1, 2018. Image credit: D. Myles Cullen/Zuma Press/Newscom. Contributor: Don Kirchoff.


SEOUL (Reuters) – Ji Seong-ho, 35, a North Korean defector who appeared at President Trump’s State of the Union address this week, is from Hoeryong, near the border with China. He told Reuters last year about the wooden crutches that he left North Korea with, in 2006.

Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi

Democratic leaders Schumer and Pelosi at President Trump’s first State of the Union speech

This is an edited translation of his story:

“I lived as a child beggar in North Korea. I was stealing coal from a train when I fell off and lost my leg and my hand.

I had to bring the crutches with me. If I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have made it here. The state doesn’t help you in North Korea, and people who need crutches make their own. Mine are therefore not factory-made so they’re not perfect and break easily.

I had several pairs of crutches but they all broke, and this was the last pair. I used these crutches for 10 years until I was 25 when I arrived in South Korea.

I would steal coals from moving trains and fall off, destroying my crutches. Or I would get beaten up by the police and they’d take and then break my crutches. When they broke, I would make new ones. When I had new ones, I could go back outside.

When I first arrived in South Korea I thought about throwing them out.

South Korea’s intelligence agency gave me a prosthetic leg. My friends said I should throw the crutches out and not think about North Korea. They said I should show Kim Jong Il I was living a new life in South Korea and throw out everything I had from the North. Some asked if I got upset when I saw my crutches.

But I couldn’t just throw them out. To make my crutches, my friends had given me some wood that they had bought, and someone I knew in North Korea who had carpentry skills had made them. It was my father who added the final touches.

There is a lot of love from my North Korean friends and family in these crutches. So I didn’t throw them out. The South Korean government gave me some new crutches because the wood from my North Korean ones is hard and painful. But I still keep them, so as not to forget those memories.”

Translated and written by Heekyong Yang and James Pearson Edited by Sara Ledwith

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Republished from Reuters.com. CLICK HERE to read the original.


This content is published under the Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Please honor attribution.

One Response to "Me and My Crutches – a North Korean Defector’s Story"

  1. Tom Shumaker  February 13, 2018 at 9:51 am

    Nice juxtaposition with the Dummiecrats.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.