Pastor Lim, 61, had been doing humanitarian work in North Korea since 1997 and had visited the isolated country more than 100 times prior to his arrest…

Leah Marieann Klett : Aug 10, 2017 : Gospel Herald

[Gospel Herald] Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian pastor who was serving a life sentence of hard labor in North Korea, was released today, the country’s official KCNA news agency has claimed. (Photo: Hyeon Soo Lim, the Canadian pastor who was sentenced to a life term of hard labor in North Korea for “crimes against the state” in December 2015/AFP/via Gospel Herald)

“Rim Hyon Su, a Canadian civilian, was released on sick bail according to the decision of the Central Court of the DPRK on August 9, 2017, from the humanitarian viewpoint,” it said, using the country’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In a statement, a spokesperson for his family expressed relief over the pastor’s return.

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

“There is a long way to go in terms of Reverend Lim’s healing. Therefore, in the meantime we ask the media for privacy as he reconnects with his loved ones and receives medical attention.”

The family expressed gratitude to the Canadian, North Korean and Swedish governments.

“We want to thank the global community for the continued prayers and support and we also ask that the world does not forget the people of North Korea,” the statement read.

Pastor Lim, 61, had been doing humanitarian work in North Korea since 1997 and had visited the isolated country more than 100 times prior to his arrest, according to his Toronto church, the 3,000-member Light Korean Presbyterian Church.

North Korea’s highest court said the South Korean-born pastor had attempted to overthrow the government and undermine its social system with “religious activities” for the past 18 years. At the time of his capture in 2015, the pastor had a “very serious health problem, very high blood pressure”, his…

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