North Korea Frees Ailing Canadian Pastor Serving Life Sentence

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has called for calm

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Lim's release comes following the visit of a delegation from the Canadian Government to Pyongyang on Tuesday, which was led by Daniel Jean - a national security advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada.

Lim's family had become more concerned for his welfare since the death in June of American student Otto Warmbier, who had been held in North Korea for 17 months.

It comes two months after the death of USA student Otto Warmbier, who was in a coma at the time of his release from a North Korean prison.

A spokesperson for Trudeau would only confirm that a Canadian delegation is present in the internationally isolated capital.

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"A nuclear power like North Korea that has shown a level of irresponsibility", he said, pausing for several seconds as he searched for the right words, finally continuing, "fundamental irresponsibility-to not to use a word like insane which I will not use-is a real concern".

His supporters have said he was on a humanitarian mission to North Korea when he was detained.

The US State Department has since announced a travel ban that will take effect next month, preventing almost all US citizens from visiting North Korea, with the exception of journalists and humanitarian workers.

According to media reports earlier this summer, Lim has problems with high blood pressure and complained about pains in the stomach in letters to friends. The pastor's family asked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for help in securing Lim's release from the country.

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Lim, the senior pastor of the Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, had made frequent humanitarian visits to North Korea on behalf of his church. North Korean prosecutors also accused him of helping "lure and abduct" North Korean citizens, calling them defectors.

In an interview with CNN last year, the pastor said he usually spends eight hours a day digging holes in the prison where he has apparently not seen any other inmates.

He then added, Canada would "do whatever we can to ameliorate and defuse the situation with North Korea".

President Donald Trump has responded to recent threats from North Korea by pledging "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if they continue.

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