News Worms
News Worms


Amid standoff with US, North Korea releases jailed Canadian pastor

Amid standoff with US, North Korea releases jailed Canadian pastor

Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian pastor who was serving a life sentence of hard labor in North Korea, was released today, the country's official KCNA news agency has claimed.

"His health and wellbeing remain of utmost importance to the government and we are obviously continuing to engage on his case and, given that it is an active case, we can not provide any further comment at this time".

Three american citizens are still prisoners in North Korea, while relations between Pyongyang and Washington have become increasingly tense, fed by statements by the warriors of both sides.

North Korea sentenced the 62-year old pastor to hard labor for life in December 2015, after he was arrested for allegedly attempting to overthrow Kim Jong Un's regime.

Lim's family had stepped up calls for his release since the death of University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier in June.

On Tuesday, Canadian officials travelled to North Korea to discuss releasing the imprisoned pastor.

Lim has been suffering from high blood pressure and stomach pains, according to letters to his friends. "North Korea is concerned he would die in prison".

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center assessing Warmbier's condition on his return concluded that the USA citizen had suffered significant brain damage and no signs of botulism were detected.

Lim is on his way home to his family, including a granddaughter he will meet for the first time, and his 3,000-member congregation, Light Korean Presbyterian Church in suburban Toronto.

Mr. Lim said during his news conference that the bags of food he had donated across North Korea had carried the sign of the cross and phrases from the Bible.

Since then, the USA announced a travel ban for Americans visiting North Korea with the exception of humanitarian workers and journalists. He said he had to dig holes eight hours a day in a camp where he did not see any other detainees.

Lim, a Korean-Canadian pastor, has been held in captivity in the North since he entered the country via China on a humanitarian mission in January 2015.

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