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North Korea says it's released imprisoned Canadian pastor

10 August, 2017, 00:07 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • North Korea says it's released imprisoned Canadian pastor

There was no clear connection between the release of Hyeon Soo Lim and the heightened rhetoric between Washington and Pyongyang.

"Rim Hyon Su, (Lim Hyeon Soo) a Canadian civilian, was released on sick bail according to the decision of the Central Court of the DPRK on August 9, 2017, from the humanitarian viewpoint", KCNA reported in Korean.

The 62-year-old reverend, who was sentenced to a life of hard labour in prison by the North Korean regime for crimes against the state, is reportedly in poor health.

Canadian Hyeon Soo Lim speaks in Pyongyang, North Korea. "They hope that Canada presents some moderating influence on the Trump administration".

North Korea responded by saying on state media it is considering a strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam.

Lim, accompanied by his wife and son, is expected to return to Canada on Thursday and will be hospitalised on arrival at his wife's request, a source familiar with the matter said.

The official said the timing of the delegation's visit was based on the condition of Lim, and not related to the increasing world pressure associated with Pyongyang's missile tests and last weekend's imposition of further sanctions by the UN.

His family said they increased their efforts to get Lim released after Kim's regime freed American university student Otto Warmbier in June.

He died just six days after his release from North Korea due to a brain injury sustained while in custody.

Canadian Senator Yonah Martin, who advocated for Lim's release, said Lim was hospitalised during his imprisonment. At the time, he said he received regular medical care and three meals per day. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has sent a delegation to Pyongyang to discuss the pastor's release. The North has said, however, that its doors remain open to any American citizens interested in visiting the country.

The U.S. recently issued a ban restricting travel to North Korea for U.S. citizens, and that ban is expected to go into effect in early September.

Lim, the senior pastor of the Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, had made frequent humanitarian visits to North Korea on behalf of his church.

In an interview with CNN last year, the pastor said he usually spends eight hours a day digging holes in the prison where he has apparently not seen any other inmates.



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