After Donald Trump became the first sitting president to step foot in North Korea last month, many human rights groups have advocated for future talks to include human rights abuses committed by dictator Kim Jong Un, something absent from previous talks.
A few days ago, President Trump told a North Korean defector he would bring up religious persecution in his ongoing talks with Communist North Korea, which outlaws Christianity.
Ilyong Ju, a Christian from North Korea, one of 27 survivors of religious persecution invited to the Oval Office, shared his family’s story: “My aunt, all of my aunt’s family…are in political prison camp now…just because my aunt’s father-in-law was a Christian.”
Ju, a LiNK Advocacy Fellow, shared, “and my cousin’s whole family were executed because of their sharing the gospel.”
Trump shook his head and mouthed what appeared to be “awful.”
“But even though the persecution of Kim Jong Un, … North Korean citizens …want the gospel and they are worshiping in underground churches right now. …”
“I’m understanding exactly what you’re saying,” Trump said. “I’ll bring it up.”
Ju responded: “Yes, please.”