Pyongyang sets free Canadian jailed for 'plots'

Hyeon Soo Lim a pastor from the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga Ont. is taken to a sentencing hearing in Pyongyang North Korea in December 2015. He was sentenced to a life sentence of hard labour for subversion

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

In a trial held around the end of 2015 in Pyongyang, the country's highest court found Lim guilty of having conspired to overthrow the regime as a part of an alleged conspiracy by the governments of the United States and South Korea.

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".

A Canadian delegation led by Daniel Jean, Trudeau's national security adviser, was in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang this week to discuss Lim's case.

That month Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was convicted of stealing a political banner from a Pyongyang hotel in 2016 and sentenced to 15 years with hard labor, was released from imprisonment and returned to the U.S.in a coma.

The three other U.S. citizens imprisoned in North Korea are all Korean-Americans.

While Lim and his family and friends are just relieved that he is now back in Canada, one can not ignore the timing of his release, as latest developments between North Korea and the United States have been at an all time low and getting extremely tense. But during his last trip in 2015, he was detained and charged with attempting to overthrow North Korea's regime using religion.

"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.

He died just six days after his release from North Korea due to a brain injury sustained while in custody.

Lim's own health was of concern to his family members, who had said the pastor needed medication to manage his blood pressure. Sweden's embassy in Pyongyang, which represents several Western nations in the insular nation, also helped, according to a statement from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"We are relieved to hear that Reverend Lim is on his way home to finally reunite with his family and meet his grand daughter for the first time", Lisa Pak said in statement to CNN.

Mr. Lim's release comes at a time of vast tension between North Korea and the global community after the defiant regime conducted a pair of intercontinental ballistic missile tests, even as western defence analysts concluded that it has successfully miniaturized a nuclear device that could be attached to a long-range missile.

That delegation was pivotal towards securing Lim's release, Ontario MPP Raymond Cho said.

"I hope I can go home someday", Lim said.

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