Washington DC, Jan 31: The United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday delivered his first State of the Union speech at the White House, addressing various issues including foreign policy. He criticised enemy states of the United States, but lambasted the North Korean regime saying that no country oppressed its citizens more than the Kim Jong-Un administration. He shared the story of North Korean defector Ji Seong-ho who travelled to China on crutches to attain his freedom from the oppressive regime.
“In 1996, Seong-ho was a starving boy in North Korea. One day, he tried to steal coal from a railroad car to barter for a few scraps of food, which were very hard to get. In the process, he passed out on the train tracks, exhausted from hunger. He woke up as a train ran over his limbs. He then endured multiple amputations without anything to dull the pain or the hurt,” Trump said. (Also read: US President Donald Trump Delivers First State Of The Union Address: Highlights)
“His brother and sister gave what little food they had to help him recover and ate dirt themselves, permanently stunting their own growth. Later, he was tortured by North Korean authorities after returning from a brief visit to China. His tormentors wanted to know if he’d met any Christians. He had, and he resolved after that to be free.
“Seong-ho traveled thousands of miles on crutches all across China and Southeast Asia to freedom. Most of his family followed. His father was caught trying to escape and was tortured to death. Today he lives in Seoul, where he rescues other defectors, and broadcasts into North Korea what the regime fears most: the truth,” he added.
Donald Trump criticised regimes like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba. He said that the United States was standing with people of Iran who are struggling to get their freedom. He said the US had imposed sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba. But he said that no regime had oppressed its people more than the cruel dictatorship of North Korea.
Trump also remembered Otto Warmbier, a student of the University of Virginia, who died after being captured in North Korea.
“Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. And a great student, he was. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June, horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return,” he said.
Stressing on the need for the United States to modernise and rebuild its nuclear arsenal, he said the North Korean nuclear programme can threaten the country.
“North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from ever happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation. I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this very dangerous position,” he said.
“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies,” he added.