Trudeau confirms release of ailing Canadian pastor imprisoned in North Korea

Katrina Barker
August 11, 2017

Canada says a delegation is in North Korea to discuss a Canadian pastor imprisoned there.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Thursday the release of Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim from a North Korean hard labour camp and thanked Sweden for its role in helping to secure his freedom.

His statement continued, 'Pastor 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.' That was all he could reveal at the moment, ' Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further, ' the prime minister said. 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.

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

Officials in the Prime Minister's Office did not confirm any further details about Lim's release or when exactly he is expected to be back on Canadian soil.

Family and friends previously said he was visiting an orphanage, nursery and nursing home in the country at the time of his arrest.

While Lim and his family and friends are just relieved that he is now back in Canada, one can not ignore the timing of his release, as latest developments between North Korea and the United States have been at an all time low and getting extremely tense.

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. "North Korea is concerned he would die in prison".

It's not known what persuaded the North Koreans to do the decent thing in this case and allow Lim to return home to Canada.

Another politician who had campaigned for his release, Senator Yonah Martin said, 'I had a great sense of relief but it took me by surprise only because it had been so long'.

A Mississauga man who has been in detention in North Korea for the past two and a half years is finally coming home.

On Thursday, the north Korean regime mocked the american president by accusing him of having "lost the reason" and was presented at the same time a detailed plan to shoot a salvo of missiles toward the u.s. territory of Guam in the Pacific.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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