Mississauga Church Pastor Released from North Korea

Canadian PM Trudeau quietly sends national security adviser to North Korea as Trump vows 'fire and fury'

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.

Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said that Hyeon Soo Lim was released on "sick bail" following a decision by the country's Central Court.

The regime of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has released one of its foreign prisoners, Canadian pastor of Korean origin Lim Hyeon-su, for what has been described as "humanitarian reasons".

USA citizen Otto Warmbier, who was released by North Korea after over a year in captivity in June, was evacuated to the US military airbase Chitose, near Sapporo, according to the Washington Post.

His release came as relations between Pyongyang and Washington deteriorated further after President Trump vowed to respond to North Korea "with fire and fury" following the latter's threat to launch a missile strike on the Pacific island of Guam, a USA territory.

"Pastor Lim's health and well-being remain of utmost importance to the government of Canada, and we are working to ensure that he receives any required medical attention", said Trudeau.

Three US citizens remain in custody as relations with Washington have grown increasingly tense.

President Trump and North Korean officials this week are exchanging bellicose words over the regime's nuclear missile program.

The 62-year-old suffered health complications, including "dramatic" weight loss, a family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said. Sweden's embassy in Pyongyang, which represents several Western nations in the insular nation, had also helped, the statement said.

Lim will meet his granddaughter for the first time when he returns home, according to a statement from his family.

Lim has visited the country more than 100 times for humanitarian activities since 1997.

But it may come as some solace to Lim's congregation and family that when a US diplomat recently went to North Korea to retrieve Warmbier, he reported seeing Lim and said that he was still able to stand.

He and church colleagues travelled to countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea on charitable visits. Warmbier, sentenced last year to 15 years' hard labour for trying to steal a propaganda item from his hotel, died in a Cincinnati hospital days after being released in a coma.

North Korea on Wednesday announced that a Canadian missionary who had been imprisoned since 2015 was released on humanitarian grounds.

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

Mr. Cho said North Korea could be trying to "save face" in the worldwide community by releasing Mr. Lim.

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