North Korea Frees Canadian Pastor Sentenced to Life of Hard Labor

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

The 62-year-old Canadian Korean pastor was arrested in 2015 and charged with harming the dignity of the supreme leadership and trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system.

North Korea has released a Canadian pastor serving a life sentence there on humanitarian grounds, the country's official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday.

A spokesman for the PMO says Lim's health and well-being is of utmost importance as the Canadian government continues to engage on the case.

His release came one day after a special envoy of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrived in the North.

North Korea said Wednesday that it has released an imprisoned Canadian pastor for humanitarian reasons amid escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula stemming from the North's continued provocations.

The family of the pastor Hyeon Soo Lim had expressed concern about his state of health, especially since the death in June of the american student Otto Warmbier few days after his release from prison in north korea.

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According to media reports earlier this summer, Lim has problems with high blood pressure and complained about pains in the stomach in letters to friends.

Mr Lim's family said he had travelled to Pyongyang in January 2015 to build a nursing home, nursery and orphanage.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center assessing Warmbier's condition on his return concluded that the US citizen had suffered significant brain damage and no signs of botulism were detected.

North Korea in retaliation threatened a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam and said North Korea would "turn the US mainland into the theater of a nuclear war" at any sign of an impending American attack.

Since then, the US announced a travel ban for Americans visiting North Korea with the exception of humanitarian workers and journalists. In 2016, he told the USA network CNN that he had been digging holes for 8 hours a day.

President Donald Trump warnedTuesday that North Korea's threats will be met with "fire and fury and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before".

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