North Korea frees ailing Canadian pastor from prison

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

He was given a life sentence of hard labor for allegedly trying to overthrow the regime.

KCNA said Lim had been released on "sick bail" by the country's Central Court for humanitarian reasons.

The release of Lim came two months after an American college student, Otto F. Warmbier, died shortly after he was freed from North Korea while in a coma.

Lim, who is described by the Associated Press as "a South Korean-born Canadian citizen in his 60s", was imprisoned in 2015 on charges of "trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping USA and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens".

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 has visited North Korea more than 100 times for humanitarian activities since 1997.

During the meeting, Rim reportedly talked about his health condition, and asked the charge d'affaires ad interim "to convey his request to the Canadian government for making active efforts" for his release.

The source who shared the photo, and who wished to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of speaking to media from North Korea, described it as a "special unchartered flight going to Japan".

The measure is part of the new round of sanctions adopted on August 5 by the United Nations Security Council in response to North Korea's nuclear and missile activities in clear violation of previous U.N. Security Council resolutions. The 62-year-old's health has deteriorated while in North Korean custody and the pastor has experienced "dramatic" weight loss, Pak said.

Canada does not have an embassy in North Korea, and has advised against all travel there.

The church has taken on numerous humanitarian projects in North Korea, one of which prompted Lim's last trip there in January 2015.

Since 2009, over 10 USA citizens have been detained in North Korea on charges of anti-state acts and other unspecified crimes.

In a letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland dated July 11, Julia Beazley, director of public policy at The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, said concerns for Mr. Lim's health have intensified since Mr. Warmbier's death.

North Korea has released a Canadian pastor serving a life sentence in the country after two and a half years in detention.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he would unleash "fire and fury" if North Korea continued to make threats, and Pyongyang responded by saying it was considering a missile strike against the U.S. territory of Guam. Lim eventually made a decision to devote more time and money to the needy in North Korea, making about 110 trips there since 1997.

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