North Korea says it has released Canadian detainee

But a spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry said Americans were still welcome
But a spokesman for the North’s foreign ministry said Americans were still welcome
Author

10 August, 2017

Staff from the Prime Minister's Office is in Pyongyang, North Korea, to discuss the case of imprisoned Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim.

Lim has been held in custody by the North since he entered the reclusive country on a humanitarian mission in January 2015.

Mr Lim was serving a life sentence of hard labour for "crimes against the state" which he began in December 2015.

Lim's release follows the medical release of American prisoner Otto Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who was sent home in a coma.

A spokesperson for Trudeau would only confirm that a Canadian delegation is present in the internationally isolated capital.

North Korea, which zealously tries to shield its citizens from outside influences, has detained several foreign missionaries in recent years, calling them spies or agents of subversive ideas.

"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".

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He died just six days after his release from North Korea due to a brain injury sustained while in custody.

North Korea is still holding three Americans.

Separately, a senior government official confirmed to CBC News that Jean was leading the delegation as the prime minister's special envoy, and that while his focus is the release of Lim, he would also be free to "discuss other issues of regional concern".

In letters to family, friends, and members of his church in Mississauga, Ontario, Lim has complained of stomach pain and high blood pressure.

He then added, Canada would "do whatever we can to ameliorate and defuse the situation with North Korea".

According to his family, Lim has made more than 100 trips to North Korea since 1997, and his humanitarian efforts have includedthe founding by his church of a nursery, orphanage, and nursing home in the northeastern city of Rajin.

The U.N. Security Council imposed new sanctions on North Korea at the weekend over its continued missile tests, and U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday warned the country would be met with "fire and fury" if it threatens the United Sates.


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