North Korea says it's released imprisoned Canadian pastor

10 August, 2017, 00:22 | Author: Ora Austin
  • North Korea prisoner Lim Hyeon-soo

North Korea announced it's releasing a Canadian detainee named Lim Hyeon-soo on sick bail.

"A Canadian government delegation is now in Pyongyang to discuss Pastor Lim's case", Trudeau's press secretary Cameron Ahmad said.

The family of the pastor Hyeon Soo Lim had expressed concern about his state of health, especially since the death in June of the american student Otto Warmbier few days after his release from prison in north korea.

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

Also known as Hyeon Soo Lim, who served at one of the largest churches in Canada, he was sentenced to hard labour for life in December 2015 for what North Korea says was an attempt to overthrow the regime.

A Canadian security official arrived in North Korea Tuesday to secure the pastor's release.

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Since 2010, most of the foreign nationals detained in North Korea have had ties to the church, including Americans Robert Park and Jeffrey Fowles and Australian John Short.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center assessing Warmbier's condition on his return concluded that the US citizen had suffered significant brain damage and no signs of botulism were detected.

At least three Americans and six South Koreans remain in custody in the North.

The US State Department has since announced a travel ban that will take effect next month, preventing almost all US citizens from visiting North Korea, with the exception of journalists and humanitarian workers.

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

On Wednesday, North Korea said it was considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump, unhappy with Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

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