World Canadian pastor returns home after release from N. Korean prison

20:36  12 august  2017
20:36  12 august  2017 Source:   reuters.com

U.S. ban on visiting North Korea a 'sordid' limit on exchanges: KCNA

  U.S. ban on visiting North Korea a 'sordid' limit on exchanges: KCNA <p>North Korea has criticized Washington's decision to ban U.S. passport holders from visiting the North, with state media describing it on Friday as a "sordid" attempt to limit human exchanges.</p>North Korea has criticized Washington's decision to ban U.S. passport holders from visiting the North, with state media describing it on Friday as a "sordid" attempt to limit human exchanges.

He added that getting the pastor home took on increased urgency in June, following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma.

TORONTO (Reuters) – A Canadian pastor who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than two years has arrived home in Canada to seek Lim’s release , following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma.

Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, center, is shown in 2015 being escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang, North Korea.© Jon Chol Jin Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, center, is shown in 2015 being escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim on Saturday arrived home in Canada, where he was resting after being reunited with his family following a long trek from North Korea, where he had been imprisoned since 2015, according to a family spokeswoman.

Family members will hold a press conference at his church in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said in a statement. Pak said it was not clear whether Lim, 62, would be at the press conference, but said he would attend church services on Sunday.

'Our Doors Are Always Open': North Korea Hits Out at U.S. Travel Ban

  'Our Doors Are Always Open': North Korea Hits Out at U.S. Travel Ban <p>North Korea has criticized Washington's decision to ban U.S. passport holders from visiting the North, with state media describing it on Friday as a "sordid" attempt to limit human exchanges.</p>The North's KCNA news agency, citing an unidentified spokesman for the foreign ministry, said there was no reason for foreigners to feel threatened while in North Korea and that citizens from around the world were encouraged to visit.

He added that getting the pastor home took on increased urgency in June, following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma.

He added that getting the pastor home took on increased urgency in June, following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who died days after being released from a North Korean prison in a coma.

Lim, a leader of one of Canada's largest churches, had been sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 on charges of attempting to overthrow the North Korean regime.

North Korea's KCNA news agency said on Wednesday that he was released on humanitarian grounds, though his family later said he was not in critical condition.

Footage from Japan's ANN television showed Lim walking on a tarmac next to Canada's national security adviser, Daniel Jean, at the Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo, in a stop en route to his home.

Lim's return to Canada comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though authorities there have not said there is any connection.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Chizu Nomiyama

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