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undergroundnewsroom.com August 22, 2017


Korea frees Canadian missionary jailed since 2015

10 August 2017, 12:44 | Damon Campbell

Korea frees Canadian missionary jailed since 2015

Korea frees Canadian missionary jailed since 2015

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

The visit drew speculation that the envoy was to persuade the North to release the detained pastor.

"North Korea is concerned he would die in prison", former Canadian diplomat Charles Burton told Reuters.

"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".

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

Lim, accompanied by his wife and son, is expected to return to Canada on Thursday and will be hospitalised on arrival at his wife's request, a source familiar with the matter said.

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

Canadian Senator Yonah Martin, who advocated for Lim's release, said Lim was hospitalised during his imprisonment.

While charges against Lim had lacked specifics, the pastor said he believed they stemmed from his continued criticism of the North's three generations of leaders.

At the time of Mr Lim's arrest, members of the circle of ethnic Korean missionaries in Canada and the United States called him one of the most influential Christian missionaries in North Korea.

However, while carrying out his mission, he was taken into custody in February 2015 and accused of committing hostile acts against the North Korean regime. The U.S. State Department said last week it would ban U.S. nationals from traveling to the isolated country, beginning in September.

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.



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