Canadian pastor freed N.Korea jail


Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated further this week as the United States and North Korea exchanged a series of threats, with US President Donald Trump tweeting on Friday that the US military was "locked and loaded".

Lim was arrested in 2015 for allegedly meddling in North Korean state affairs.

"This is a grave situation".

South Korea, the USA and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions, and foreigners have said after their release that their declarations of guilt were coerced while in North Korean custody. Family members will be available to speak to media at a news conference at the church later Saturday afternoon, she said.

"What North Korea is doing is absolutely unacceptable, and it's posing an unacceptable security threat both in the region and to the entire world", she said.

North Korea's Central Court on Wednesday released imprisoned Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim over health issue.

Freeland said Canada is "working with our global partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation" in the situation. She said Canada had been clear from the outset that Lim had to be released and returned home. "When they are threatened, we are there", she said. He was serving life imprisonment after being convicted of anti-state activities two years ago. He had been sentenced to hard labour for what it called crimes against the state. The delegation travelled back with the Presbyterian pastor.

Charges against him included harming the dignity of the supreme leadership, trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system, disseminating negative propaganda about the North to overseas Koreans, and assisting American and South Korean efforts to help people defect from the north.

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. He was expected to arrive in Canada on Friday or Saturday.