North Korea releases Canadian pastor on "sick bail"

10 August, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • North Korea releases Canadian pastor on

North Korea has released Canadian citizen Lim Hyeon Soo from custody for humanitarian reasons, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Wednesday.

In March 2015 it emerged that Lim had been arrested, and he was subsequently sentenced to a life sentence of hard labor in December of the same year for numerous charges, including what DPRK authorities claimed was an attempt to overthrow the government.

It comes two months after the death of United States student Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma at the time of his release from a North Korean prison.

The student died less than a week after returning to the U.S. There are three Americans still being held in North Korea.

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.

Lim has been suffering from high blood pressure and stomach pains, according to letters to his friends.

A Canadian government official said Jean was leading the delegation as Trudeau's special envoy, and while his focus was the release of Lim, he would also "discuss other issues of regional concern".

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Since 2010, most of the foreign nationals detained in North Korea have had ties to the church, including Americans Robert Park and Jeffrey Fowles and Australian John Short.

His family said he had been traveling to and from North Korea on humanitarian trips to establish orphanages, nurseries and nursing homes and had visited the country more than 100 times in the past 20 years.

But Lim isn't the only point of concern for Trudeau in dealing with North Korea, whose aim to develop nuclear missiles capable of reaching across the Pacific has Canadians anxious they are in range.

A high-ranking Canadian official is in Pyongyang to negotiate the release of an imprisoned Canadian pastor, the media reported on Wednesday.

The US leader was reacting to a report over North Korea considering a strike on US territory Guam.

One month into his sentence, Lim told CNN he works eight hours a day, six days a week, with rest breaks, digging holes for the planting of apple trees in the prison orchard.

President Donald Trump has responded to recent threats from North Korea by pledging "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if they continue.

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