North Korea Sets Canadian Pastor Free

North Korea Sets Canadian Pastor Free

North Korea Sets Canadian Pastor Free

Lim was serving a life sentence of hard labour for what North Korea said was an attempt to overthrow the regime.

According to North Korea's news agency, Lim was released on "sick bail".

Lim's family told local media they became very anxious about his welfare since American college student Otto Warmbier died in June just days after being released from a North Korean prison.

The Canadian pastor was punished for defaming the supreme leadership, using religion to disrupt the country's system, helping American and South Korean to abduct North Korean citizens, spreading negative propaganda about the country overseas.

Cho, like Lim a native of South Korea, said the pastor will need time to rest and recover to full health but for now, he's relieved at Lim's release.

Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull warned Wednesday that a conflict with North Korea would be "shattering", as tensions between Washington and Pyongyang intensified.

The prime minister's spokesman Cameron Ahmad said the government considered Lim's health of "utmost importance" but did not give more details.

Canadian officials flew Mr Lim to the capital Pyongyang to wait to dictator's decision.

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North Korea is still holding three Americans. Prior to his release, Lim's family expressed concern for his health as he was known to have lost a significant amount of weight, and to have complained of stomach pain. Sweden's embassy in Pyongyang, which represents several Western nations in the insular nation, had also helped, the statement said.

Pastor Lim's church, which is around 3,000 strong, has supported various missions to North Korea. In December of that year, Lim was put on trial and sentenced to indefinite hard labor.

He and church colleagues travelled to countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea on charitable visits.

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

Lim past year told CNN he spent his days in prison digging holes at an orchard.

It quoted the person who took the photograph as saying that the flight, which had no number, was carrying Lim, who was released on Wednesday by North Korea on humanitarian grounds.

"We're so happy he's been released, " Baik said from outside the church.

"I think this has that South Korean Canadian pastor who's being released", the source said, adding that they had seen a large group of Japanese-Koreans and initially thought the flight had been chartered for them.

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