Saturday, 16 December, 2017

Canadian pastor freed from North Korea on his way home

Hyeon Soo Lim center who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto is escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang North Korea Wednesday Dec. 16 2015 Long-Imprisoned Canadian Pastor Lim Returns Home From N. Korea
Melinda Barton | 13 August, 2017, 17:36

A Canadian pastor who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than two years quietly returned to his home in a Toronto suburb on Saturday following a long journey on a private government jet via Japan.

The Canadian pastor was punished after he was accused of "defaming the supreme leadership, using religion to disrupt the country's system, helping American and South Korean to abduct North Korean citizens and spreading negative propaganda about the country overseas". "One of the things my father shared is that as a Canadian going to North Korea for him was to be able to share the blessing of Canada to those in North Korea", the pastor's son said. He was later convicted of attempting to subvert the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un and sentenced to life in a labour camp.

But she said his release and Canada's stand on North Korea's nuclear program are not linked.

Canada's foreign minister says North Korea's nuclear program poses a "grave threat" to the security of the world and called on the country to fall into line with the global community.

The family asked the public to respect their privacy, allowing him to rest for a day and catch up with family before appearing in public on Sunday to attend services at his church.

"He is doing very well, considering everything he has gone through", he said.

It is thanks to the diplomatic efforts of the federal government and the Sweden he was released.

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

"It's a delicate dance".

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada stands by the United States, but called for a de-escalation in the war of words with North Korea.