In this viral video, Choi Sung-Bong, a finalist on Korea's Got Talent gives a background story that is astonishing.

His story is generally accepted as factual even without references (for instance, on Wikipedia). I'd like to see some references which back him up.

I'm specifically interested in the bit about him running away from the orphanage at the age of 5 (after which he allegedly survived for many years by selling gum on the street).

  • I'm guessing there isn't much paperwork documenting individuals who live on the street in Korea. I can imagine many forms of evidence that would show the claim is false, but what evidence would convince you it is true? – Oddthinking Jun 30 '12 at 3:19
  • Well, needless to say, if there was some documentation available that he lived in an orphanage that would be superb. Without that, I'll probably never be truly convinced, but if there is other evidence that will have to do. I would love to see some police reports, or even witness testimony from someone who purchased gum from a homeless 5-year old boy in the area where he claimed to live around 1995. – JSideris Jun 30 '12 at 4:02
  • 3
    I suspect there are dozens or hundreds of 5-year-old boys who sell gum in that area. – Flimzy Jul 1 '12 at 15:10
  • @Flimzy I doubt it. 5-year-olds who understand the value and function of currency, or who would be able to acquire an inventory of gum to be sold are in short supply, and there are fewer still who are homeless. If you said "dozens or hundreds of children", I might agree, but to do all this at 5 years of age is exceptional. In any case, if there are any homeless 5-year-olds in Korea who survive on the street off of a gum-based income, that will be evidence that this lifestyle was also possible for Choi Sung-Bong, and at the very least, would provide some supporting evidence towards his story. – JSideris Jul 3 '12 at 5:57
  • 2
    @Bizorke: I have seen 5-year olds selling things on the streets all over Mexico. Acquiring an inventory of gum is easy. Walk into a convenience store with US$2 wort of local currency, buy a box 20 packs of gum, then sell them for US$1 each. A 5 year old can understand that. – Flimzy Jul 3 '12 at 16:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .