North Korea Frees Canadian Pastor Sentenced to Life of Hard Labor

10 Августа, 2017, 00:39 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • North Korea prisoner Justin Trudeau

KCNA said Lim had been released on "sick bail" by the country's Central Court for humanitarian reasons. Therefore, in the meantime we ask the media for privacy as he reconnects with his loved ones and receives medical attention.

Lim's release comes amid heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula after US President Donald Trump threatened North Korea with "fire and fury" on Tuesday and Pyongyang said it was considering a military strike against the US territory of Guam.

North Korea said Wednesday it has released a Canadian pastor who was convicted of subversion in 2015 and sentenced to life imprisonment at hard labor. "[Lim's] health and wellbeing remain of utmost importance to the government and we are obviously continuing to engage on his case and, given that it is an active case, we can not provide any further comment at this time", Trudeau's press secretary Cameron Ahmad told journalists.

According to his family, Lim had been to North Korea more than 100 times.

The official said the timing of the delegation's visit was based on the condition of Lim, and not related to the increasing world pressure associated with Pyongyang's missile tests and last weekend's imposition of further sanctions by the UN.

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Several of them, mainly of american citizens of Korean origin, have been arrested in the past and were not able to return to their country only after the intervention of senior american officials.

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

In an interview with CNN last year, the pastor said he usually spends eight hours a day digging holes in the prison where he has apparently not seen any other inmates. "I also really need letters from my family". At the time of his arrest, he was called by his kith and kin as one of the most influential Christian missionaries operating in North Korea.

In response the United Nations approved further economic sanctions on North Korea on Saturday in an attempt to pressurise Kim Jong-un to give up his nuclear weapons.

While Canada has not followed suit, its foreign ministry advises citizens against traveling to the country "due to the uncertain security situation caused by North Korea's nuclear weapons development program and highly repressive regime".

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