North Korea Frees Ailing Canadian Pastor Serving Life Sentence

10 August, 2017, 00:06 | Author: Essie Rivera
  • North Korea prisoner Otto Warmbier

North Korea's official news agency announced Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim has been released for health reasons.

Rim Hyon Su, also known as Hyeon Soo Lim, was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to hard labor for allegedly attempting to overthrow the regime by using religion.

Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church of Mississauga, Ont., was sentenced by a North Korean court to life in prison at hard labour for what it called crimes against the state.

Lim's family has reportedly been seeking his release since the nation allowed American student Otto Warmbier to return in June.

"A nuclear power like North Korea that has shown a level of irresponsibility", he said, pausing for several seconds as he searched for the right words, finally continuing, "fundamental irresponsibility-to not to use a word like insane which I will not use-is a real concern".

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

The 62-year-old was in poor health and wrote letters to his friends stating he had stomach pain and high blood pressure.

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"So far, it has been confirmed that government officials and a doctor are accompanying Reverend Lim", said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to media. Warmbier arrived to the U.S.in a vegetative state and died six days after his release.

He has visited the country more than 100 times for humanitarian activities since 1997.

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.

The Canadian delegation is led by Daniel Jean, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

North Korea is still holding three Americans.

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

The Canadian delegation arrived on the same day US President Donald Trump warned that Pyongyang would be met "with fire and fury and, frankly, power the likes of which the world has never seen before", if it does not stop threatening the US.

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