North Korea frees imprisoned Canadian pastor

North Korea frees imprisoned Canadian pastor

The last time a Canadian delegation was sent to Pyongyang to discuss the release of the 62-year-old pastor was in late 2016.

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

Trudeau's spokesman Cameron Ahmad said the government considered Lim's health of "utmost importance" but did not give more details about the delegation.

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".

A senior Canadian official said their trip was exclusively linked to Lim's condition and was not related to the increasing global tensions with the state.

North Korea freed a Canadian pastor who had been jailed in the country for two and a half years.




Lim, a South Korean-born Canadian citizen in his 60s, was convicted and sentenced in 2015 on charges of trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping USA and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

"Strategically, North Korea perhaps hopes to engender some goodwill from Canada as tensions rise", said Charles Burton, a former Canadian diplomat in China.

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. "North Korea is concerned he would die in prison".

Several of them, mainly of american citizens of Korean origin, have been arrested in the past and were not able to return to their country only after the intervention of senior american officials.

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

While Canada has not followed suit, its foreign ministry advises citizens against traveling to the country "due to the uncertain security situation caused by North Korea's nuclear weapons development program and highly repressive regime". President Donald Trump warnedTuesday that North Korea's threats will be met with "fire and fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before".

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