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North Korea's Top Target: Defector Who Shares His Faith, Champions Freedom in South Korea's Parliament

Randy Mancini 3 Aug 10

SEOUL, South Korea – An estimated 34,000 defectors have made the life-or-death flight to freedom crossing from North to South Korea.

One of those defectors is now the number-one target of the North Korean regime.

He made a remarkable and miraculous journey from being a child beggar in North Korea to an elected member of South Korea’s parliament.

CBN News met with that legislator, Ji Seong-Ho, who now has an ambitious goal.

“My hope as a member of the National Assembly is for the North Korean regime to collapse so that the North Korean people can enjoy freedom and believe in God,” he told us. “I want to dedicate myself to the creation of such freedom and unity.”

 Seong-Ho showed us a painting of a “kut-say-bee,” a child beggar in North Korea, and described how he survived as a child when millions starved to death.

At age 14, he lost his leg and hand in an accident. At age 24, Seong-Ho fled to freedom.

“I escaped North Korea with no left leg and no left hand,” he recounted. “I swam across the Tumen River to avoid the eyes of North Korean soldiers. I walked 6,000 kilometers to China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, China, and turned around to go 10,000 kilometers to South Korea.”

He added, “The fact that I came to freedom on crutches made the whole world aware of how strong the will of human beings is to yearn for freedom.”

In China, Seong-Ho heard the gospel and became a Christian, and when he came to South Korea, it was like a dream.

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He recalled, “Everything I thought of, dreamed of and prayed for came true. For example, the dream of eating a full meal, such as chicken, has come true. And I had that dream of walking the world once again. When I came to South Korea, the government gave me a new prosthetic leg and arm, so I was able to walk again.”

President Trump honored Seong-Ho during the 2018 State of the Union address. Because of his high profile, North Korea has named him their number-one target. He says countries should pressure China not to extradite defectors back to North Korea, where they face death or life as political prisoners.

“People imprisoned in North Korean political prison camps are treated as animals, not people,” he stated. “And everybody in North Korea is well aware of this.”

Seong-Ho now serves as an advocate for human rights and for the 34,000 defectors in South Korea. His role model is Martin Luther King, Jr., and this former beggar child now meets with world leaders.

“My message is that North Koreans have the right to live in freedom,” he explained. “And those who live in a free democracy have a responsibility to save those who are imprisoned and dying. They have a responsibility to make sure that even those who are starving to death live and enjoy the freedom we enjoy.”

Despite the current situation, Seong-Ho believes reunification between the north and south is possible.

“I don’t think it’s impossible,” he said. “Because it’s clear that North Korea is a dictatorship. I don’t know of any dictatorship in history that has lasted forever. Furthermore, I have the idea that politics should be carried out from a long-term perspective so that free democracy and the gospel can be preached to North Koreans and integration can be achieved after unification.

Seong-Ho asks Christians around the world to pray.

“Pray that the North Korean regime will be overthrown and that the North Korean people will have the freedom to enjoy freedom and believe in God – to create unity so that it can be integrated into a liberal democracy.”

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