Pence meets defectors to hear stories of North Korea's brutality

펜스 美부통령, 천안함 방문•탈북자 면담

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who is in Korea to lead the American delegation at the Olympics, visited a memorial site for sailors killed by North Korean attacks at sea.
He also met with defectors of the regime to hear their stories and highlight the the communist state's human rights abuses.
Kwon Jang-ho has more from the VP's stop over in Pyeongtaek.

Before heading to PyeongChang, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence stopped by a memorial site in Pyeongtaek, to pay tribute to South Korean sailors killed by North Korean attacks at sea over the years.
During his visit, he hosted a meeting with a group of North Korean defectors, as well as Fred Warmbier, the father of the U.S. student, Otto, who died last year shortly after being released from captivity by the regime
After Warmbier senior gave a warm embrace to one of the defectors, both of whom were at President Trump's State of the Union address earlier this month, they all sat down to talk about their experiences with the North Korean regime.

"My wife and I wanted the honor of meeting with men and women who fled the tyranny of North Korea to hear your stories and today make sure that the world hears your stories as well."

"I was in a political prison for 28 years without knowing why. I survived, but when I tried to escape, I was caught and sold to China. I was forced to work in a restaurant for three years and seven months, before I tried to escape to South Korea."

"I had tried to defect previously but I was caught. While torturing me, they told me that I had disgraced the North Korean leader, and that a cripple like me should die. That's when I gained the will to escape again, and I travelled 10-thousand kilometers on crutches to come to South Korea."

This schedule is being seen as a conscious effort by Washington to counter North Korea's charm offensive at these Olympics, and the remind the world of the regime's atrocities.
Pence said before he came to Korea that he will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message of the Olympics.

The Vice President then made his way to Pyeongchang, where observers are watching closely whether he will have any interactions with the North Korean delegation.
Although both Washington and Pyongyang say they have made no plans to meet, Pence himself and other White House officials have said they will see what happens.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.

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