Canada FM urges US, North Korea to step back

North Korea Jailed Canadian

Hyeon Soo Lim, a Toronto-area pastor who was detained in North Korea for over two years, is back in the city after catching a connecting flight in Ottawa.

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. "One of the things my father shared is that as a Canadian going to North Korea for him was to be able to share the blessing of Canada to those in North Korea", the pastor's son said. He was sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 on charges of attempting to overthrow the Pyongyang regime.

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. The release came after diplomatic negotiation details of which are not known. She said Canada had been clear from the outset that Lim had to be released and returned home.

Jang Bae, tells The Canadian Press in an email that Lim "will be attending service this Sunday".

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James Lim said his dad was in "good health", but noted that the family planned to arrange for extended medical attention, including checkups.

The family thanked the Canadian government for helping secure his Lim's release. "There's a lot of complexity to it", James Lim said.

The Canadian government issued a statement saying it joined Lim's family and congregation in celebrating his homecoming.

"It is of absolutely pressing concern for Canada and we are very involved working with our worldwide partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation, to really get North Korea to understand it must get off of this path which is so destructive for North Korea and the world".

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