Wednesday, 13 December, 2017

European Union increases bans on North Korea

European Union increases bans on North Korea European Union increases bans on North Korea
Andrew Cummings | 11 August, 2017, 00:31

OTTAWA | The pastor, a canadian imprisoned for over two and a half years in North Korea and released Wednesday, is en route to Canada, said Thursday the Prime minister Justin Trudeau.

Hyeon Soo Lim, who served in one of the largest churches in Canada, had been sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 after North Korea accused him of attempting to overthrow the regime.

The prime minister's spokesman Cameron Ahmad said the government considered Lim's health of "utmost importance" but did not give more details.

At the time of his arrest, the representative of the presbyterian Church in korea in Light of Toronto was considered one of the most influential christian missionary in North Korea, a country that he had visited dozens of times to work in orphanages and hospitals.

News of his release came a day after a six-member Canadian government delegation arrived in North Korea to try to gain Lim's freedom.

With "relief", the head of the canadian government has announced that Hyeon Soo Lim "would soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada".

"Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further".

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But they were thrilled with the prime minister's statement. (STAND UP) The Blue House initially said it would not have held an NSC meeting just because of rhetoric but chose to convene the standing committee for now to analyze North Korea's military movements and the objective of the regime's threats.

Pyongyang's already strained relations with Washington spiked to new levels of hostility after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened North Korea that it "will be met with fire and fury" if it threatens the U.S.

KCNA said Lim had been released on "sick bail" by the country's Central Court for humanitarian reasons.

After tests of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, the United Nations last week imposed the most damaging restrictions so far aimed at slashing North Korea's vital export earnings. It's possible they wanted him out before his health deteriorated further and they faced an embarrassing repeat of the case of Otto Warmbier, the American who was so badly treated in North Korea that he died days after being freed.

Canadian Senator Yonah Martin, who advocated for Lim's release, said Lim was hospitalised during his imprisonment.

Canada does not have an embassy in North Korea, and has advised against all travel there.

The North responded on Wednesday with its own threats, saying that it had been drawing up plans for a missile strike against the Pacific island of Guam, which is home to USA military bases, strategic bombers and about 163,000 people.

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