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Canada Minister Spoke to North Korean Counterpart Ahead of Pastor's Release

Canada Minister Spoke to North Korean Counterpart Ahead of Pastor's Release

It landed in southern Ontario Saturday morning.

North Korea's Central Court on Wednesday released imprisoned Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim over health issue. At left is family spokesperson Lisa Pak and church spokesperson Richard Ha, right.

"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.

It was not clear if Pastor Lim would appear at the press conference, according to Pak, who said he would attend Sunday services at his church. "There's a lot of complexity to it", James Lim said.

The family thanked the Canadian government for helping secure his Lim's release.

James Lim the son of Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim speaks to the media at the Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga Ontario Canada on Saturday Aug. 12 2017 after his father’s return home from a North Korean prison. (Chris Young  The Canadian Press via A

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.

South Korea, the US and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions, and foreigners have said after their release that their declarations of guilt were coerced while in North Korean custody.

The pastor's son James Lim said his dad was happy to be back home in Canada, stopping for coffee and a donut at Canada's popular Tim Horton's coffee chain on his way home from the airport.

Lim, a 62-year-old South Korean-born Canadian citizen, was convicted and sentenced in 2015 for allegedly trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping USA and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

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 had been sentenced to hard labour for what it called crimes against the state. His supporters have said he was on a humanitarian mission to North Korea when he was detained.

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