United States President Donald Trump told a North Korean defector he would bring up religious persecution in his ongoing talks with the Communist regime, which outlaws Christianity.
The president recently held a meeting with victims of religious persecution at the White House, where he heard the stories of people persecuted for their religion.
After 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.
Ilyong Ju, a Christian from The Hermit Kingdom who was one of 27 survivors of religious persecution invited to the Oval Office at the White House to meet with Trump during last week’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, 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 Liberty in North Korea (LiNK) Advocacy Fellow, shared, “and my cousin’s whole family were executed because of their sharing gospel.”
Trump shook his head and mouthed what appeared to be “awful.”
“But even though the persecution by Kim Jong Un, the North Korean citizens, they…want gospel and they are worshipping in underground churches right now, and even a few weeks ago we have a message from North Korean underground churches and they sent a photo of the wood. Three of them are gathered there and they were praying for South Korea,” Ju said.
“So those kind of things are happening in North Korea,” Ju concluded.
“I’m understanding exactly what you’re saying,” Trump said. “I’ll bring it up.”
Ju responded: “Yes, please.”
Watch The Video Below:
Ilyong Ju talks with President Trump from 14:44 to 15:48 in the White House video below.
North Korea has topped the list as the worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, a position it has maintained for 18 years, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.