Published: Wed, August 09, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Korea releases imprisoned Canadian pastor on sick bail

Korea releases imprisoned Canadian pastor on sick bail

South Korea-born reverend Hyeon Soo Lim has been detained in the rogue state since 2015 following his arrest for his alleged involvement in subversive acts against Pyongyang.

There was no obvious direct connection between the release and the standoff with the United States, but North Korea has in the past attracted the attention of Washington, and visits by high-profile Americans, with the detention and release of US citizens.

North Korea said Wednesday that it has released an imprisoned Canadian pastor for humanitarian reasons amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsular stemming from the North's continued provocations.

"A Canadian government delegation is now in Pyongyang, DPRK, to discuss Pastor Lim's case", AFP news agency cited Trudeau spokesman Cameron Ahmad as saying, referring to North Korea's official name.

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According to Palestinian media reports, the initiative is meant to improve the economic and humanitarian situation in Gaza. Two people were seriously wounded and another sustained light injuries, local media reported.

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

The release came a day after Canadian officials said a delegation led by the country's national security adviser had traveled to North Korea to discuss the case of Hyeon Soo Lim, sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015.

Separately, a senior government official confirmed to CBC News that Jean was leading the delegation as the prime minister's special envoy, and that while his focus is the release of Lim, he would also be free to "discuss other issues of regional concern". But his family said he arrived in a state of coma, and eventually died on 19 June.

In addition to Canada's Lim, North Korea is holding three Americans. 'As this is an active case, we will not provide further comment at this time'.

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