Canadian pastor reunites with family after release from North Korean prison

Gladys Abbott
August 13, 2017

His family later said he was not in critical condition.

A Canadian pastor released from prison in North Korea this week is back in the country.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, had been serving a life sentence with hard labour for supposed anti-state activities when the North Korean government released him on what it described as "sick bail".

Freeland's remarks came as Trump delivered another warning to Pyongyang that the USA military is "locked and loaded" if the regime acts unwisely.

Lim was arrested in 2015 for allegedly meddling in North Korean state affairs.

Freeland declined to comment directly on Trump's remarks, but said Canada has been very clear about condemning the actions of North Korea, including its ballistic missile and nuclear programs.

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Freeland said Canada is "working with our global partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation" in the situation.

Lim's return to Canada comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though there authorities have not said there is any connection.

"He's doing very, very well considering everything he has gone through", said his son, James Lim.

"Canada really understands the importance of independent, objective, transparent dispute settlement within NAFTA and it's something that we'll be talking about with our partners and explaining to them", Freeland said. "He hasn't seen the congregation in many years".

The Toronto resident Lim started the Light Korean Presbyterian Church nearly 30 years ago.

Family members will hold a Saturday afternoon press conference at his church, said spokeswoman Lisa Pak. She said Canada had been clear from the outset that Lim had to be released and returned home.

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