Return to the country of a pastor freed by North Korea


A Canadian pastor released from prison in North Korea this week is planning to attend a church service in Mississauga, Ont., on Sunday.

Lim arrived in Toronto in the late morning Saturday, and is "landed and resting", according to a press release from his family.

The pastor of the Mississauga Light Korean Presbyterian Church traveled regularly to North Korea for humanitarian missions and has always denied the allegations.

Informing Lim's arrival to the country, Global Affairs Canada said in a statement: "Today, we join Pastor Lim's family and congregation in celebrating his long-awaited return to Canada".

Lim's release came almost two months after USA college student Otto Warmbier died shortly after he was released from North Korea in a coma.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent national security adviser Daniel Jean to North Korea to seek Lim's freedom.

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Lim, a 62-year-old South Korean-born Canadian citizen, was convicted and sentenced in 2015 for allegedly trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping US and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

It's possible the regime is being more cautious with Mr. Lim's health problems, Mr. Denney said.

Canada does not have diplomatic offices in Pyongyang and relies on Sweden to handle consular issues. They declined to provide details on negotiations with the North Koreans.

The two nuclear powers have been steadily increasing their rhetoric, leading Freeland to condemn North Korea's actions but suggest it's time to reel in the verbal threats.

"What North Korea is doing is absolutely unacceptable, and is posing an unacceptable security threat both in the region and to the entire world", Ms. Freeland said Friday in Edmonton, after a meeting with agriculture groups in the lead-up to next week's North American free-trade talks.