Mississauga Church Pastor Released from North Korea

Mississauga Church Pastor Released from North Korea”

"I am pleased and relieved to confirm that Pastor Lim has been released from jail in North Korea and that he will soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada", Trudeau said.

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

Trudeau said Lim's "health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada, and we are working to ensure that he receives any required medical attention".

The Globe and Mail reports that pastor Lim's church - Light Korean Presbyterian church in Mississauga, Ontario - was "ecstatic" at the news of his release. A plane carrying senior Canadian officials, a medical doctor, and a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was dispatched earlier this week to Pyongyang at the "last minute", according to a Lim family spokesperson.

"This week, a Canadian government delegation led by Daniel Jean, my special envoy, travelled to Pyongyang, North Korea, to discuss Pastor Lim's case", he said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed the news and said, 'The Government of Canada was actively engaged on Mr Lim's case at all levels'.

"Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further", he added, asking the media to respect the family's privacy.

The massive rally in Pyongyang came in the wake of the nuclear war rhetoric between the United States and North Korea.

But they were thrilled with the prime minister's statement.

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 European Council, which defines the general political direction and priorities of the European Union, has widened its North Korea sanctions of asset freezes and travel bans to cover nine more people and four entities.

North Korea has in the past attracted the attention of Washington and visits by high-profile Americans with the detention and release of USA citizens.

Pak said Lim has "a long way to go in terms of. healing".

South Korea, the USA and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions, and foreigners have said after their release that their declarations of guilt had been coerced while in North Korean custody.

North Korea is still holding three Americans.

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