White House Christmas Party

2019-10-15 16:02

White House Christmas Party

Ji Seong-ho, a North Korean refugee who had been invited to President Trump's State of the Union Address, visited Washington again. The White House had been invited Ji to the Christmas party held in December.             [Recording: Ji Seong-ho] "The White House Christmas reception is an event where many people and politicians want to go to. It is an incredible honor to be invited to this event.”             Ji, the representative of the North Korean human rights group NAUH (Now Action & Unity for Human rights) in South Korea, stood among the Christmas trees at the Cross Hall of the White House and watched President Trump’s speech at a distance closer than that of the January State of the Union speech.             [Recording: Ji Seong-ho] "I continue to feel touched like I did back at the speech in January. I think the invitation to this Christmas party means that North Korean human rights is respected and the president regards the North Korean human rights victims as important.”             In addition to President Trump and the first lady, Defense Minister Jim Mathis, White House spokesman Sarah Hookabee Sanders and Governor Scott Walker Wisconsin, along with some 500 businessmen, attended the event.             Greg Scarlatteu, from North Korean Human Rights Commission in Washington, told VOA that it was the first time a defector was invited to a White House Christmas event and that it is a good sign that the Trump Administration is not disregarding the North Korean human rights issue.             [Recording: Greg Scalatteu] "It's a pretty good news. In fact, the Trump Administration has never given up on human rights in North Korea and has been aware of it for some time. At the end of February this year, President Trump gave an address to the North Korean Human Rights Speech at the Korean National Assembly. He also invited Ji Seong-ho to the State of the Union Address, and invited eight North Korean defectors to the White House. The administration is well aware of the North Korean human rights situation."             The Secretary General of HRNK (Human Rights North Korea), Greg Scalatteu, said that Ji Seong-ho was invited to the White House to represent more than 30,000 North Korean refugees in South Korea, and that the US government is well aware of the need to deal with North Korea's nuclear and missile issues as well as human rights issues.             In January, NAUH President Ji Seong-ho received a standing ovation at President Trump’s speech in the New Year’s State of the Union address. At that time, President Trump has said that Ji's story inspired everyone.             Ji said Trump did not mention North Korea at the Christmas party. But Ji could experience the freedom of religion by the world's greatest power at the White House.             [Recording: Ji Seong-ho] "When will North Korea experience such an atmosphere of Christmas and smiles on people's face, and when will they see a Christmas tree? In some ways, I felt sorry for the North Koreans. When I was in North Korea, I did not know the name of Christmas, I did not know religion in North Korea. I decided to work harder for the freedom of religion in North Korea.”


VOA Jang Yang-hee Reporter

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