Canadian pastor detained in North Korea

The reclusive regime's state-run media reported Monday that Daniel Jean, the national security and intelligence adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was in Pyongyang leading a delegation to discuss the case of Toronto Presbyterian minister Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim.

Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said on its website Wednesday that Hyeon Soo Lim was released on "sick bail" following a decision by the country's Central Court.

Lim, who served in one of the largest churches in Canada, had been sentenced to hard labour for life in December 2015 after North Korea accused him of attempting to overthrow the regime.

He was serving a life sentence of hard labor after being convicted in December 2015 for crimes against the state.

Lim's family had become more concerned for his welfare since the death in June of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been held in North Korea for 17 months.

The American, 23, was released from Pyongyang prison and sent to the U.S. with "food poisoning" but soon died.

The Canadian delegation's arrival in Pyongyang was officially confirmed on Tuesday.


According to media reports earlier this summer, Lim has problems with high blood pressure and complained about pains in the stomach in letters to friends.

Lim has made more than 100 visits to North Korea since immigrating to Canada from South Korea nearly three decades ago.

Ms Pak said in statement to CNN: "We are relieved to hear that Reverend Lim is on his way home to finally reunite with his family and meet his granddaughter for the first time".

She added: "We want to thank the global community for the continued prayers and support and we also ask that the world does not forget the people of North Korea".

He is the second foreign citizen to be released on what the North Koreans have termed "humanitarian grounds" in 2017, following the release of USA citizen Otto Warmbier in June.

His church had supported a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage in North Korea since it began a mission there in 1996, when the country was in the grip of a starvation that killed thousands of people.

Last year, Lim told CNN he spends eight hours a day digging holes at a labor camp where he has not seen any other prisoners.


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