Freed Mississauga pastor describes overwhelming loneliness in North Korean prison

Canada FM urges US N. Korea to step back

He had been serving a life sentence of hard labour for alleged anti-state activities when he was released last week on what the North Korean government described as "sick bail".

The Toronto resident Lim started the Light Korean Presbyterian Church nearly 30 years ago. "In particular, I want to thank Sweden, our protecting power in North Korea, for assisting us".

Mr. Trudeau so far has said only that he is "pleased and relieved" about Mr. Lim's release, declining to go into detail, citing operational security considerations.

Smiling and slightly thin, in a dark suit and tie on a white shirt, the pastor is sitting next to his son in the first rank of the faithful, on his knees, his granddaughter, born while he was forced to labour in North Korea.

Toronto-area pastor Hyeon Soo Lim was reunited with his family in Ontario today after more than two years in detention in North Korea.

There's no word yet on when exactly Lim arrives in Canada.

"Now more than ever, he's never felt more Canadian", the son said.

That could be an area of productive conversations with the United States, given the USA administration's focus on making it easier to do business, Freeland said. "It catalyzed discussions over additional human-rights-focused sanctions and prompted countries to re-evaluate their policies on tourism to the North", said Andrea Berger, senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

The two nuclear powers have been steadily increasing their rhetoric, leading Freeland to condemn North Korea's actions but suggest it's time to reel in the verbal threats.

"We need to find ways to pressure and persuade North Korea that the path that it is on. this path can have no positive ending for North Korea", she said following a meeting with agricultural groups in Edmonton on Friday.

"We stand by all of our allies very much including the United States".

A number of Christian missionaries - mostly ethnic Koreans who are United States citizens - have been arrested in the past, with some of them only allowed to return home after intervention by high-profile United States political figures. "When they are threatened, we are there".

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