The 62-year-old reverend's release comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea over the Kim Jong-un regime's repeated missile launches and threats to strike the Pacific island of Guam.
North Korea released a Canadian prisoner on "sick bail", state media reported late Wednesday.
At least three Americans remain in North Korean custody: businessman Kim Dong-chul, academic Kim Sang-duk and self-described Christian missionary Kim Hak-song. The circumstances of his death remain unclear. But when word spread that Lim had finally been released on Wednesday, many met the news with disbelief.
Since being imprisoned, Lim's health was reportedly failing.
"This is a truly joyous occasion", Suzanne Scholte, the chair of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, told the International Christian Concern, a human rights organization focusing on persecuted Christians.
"Would you say your biggest crime was speaking badly about the supreme leaders of this country?"
Staff and members of Mississauga's Light Korean Presbyterian Church had always been praying for Mr. Lim's release and well-being. Besides bringing in food, Lim's charitable operations included supporting orphanages and a seniors' nursing home.
Let's wish Pastor Lim well on his road to recovery from his ordeal.
"Missions will never stop, no matter where they may be", he said.
Ottawa sent a delegation earlier this week to negotiate his release.
Now that he's been released, the key now is the pastor's medical situation.
The 62-year-old suffered health complications, including "dramatic" weight loss, a family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said.
Sitting down with reporters for the first time in January 2016, Lim said that he was the sole worker in that particular labor camp, digging holes for eight hours a day, six days a week.
"They were sending medication but there was a question as to whether he was actually receiving it in the way he should". Martin said, gave "the sense that his health was definitely being affected".
Another politician who had campaigned for his release, Senator Yonah Martin said, 'I had a great sense of relief but it took me by surprise only because it had been so long'.
"I admit I've violated this government's authority, system and order", Lim said in the interview. North Korea has been overall turning a deaf ear to the Moon Jae-in government's offer to resume inter-Korean dialogue.
While it wasn't on the same scale as getting North Korea to halt its nuclear program, it was a clear victory and one that mattered.
"All these things add together..."
"The bottom line is he's coming home", Cho said.
Pyongyang had reason to avoid a repeat of what happened to Mr. Warmbier.
Canadian stocks may fall Wednesday after tensions between the US and North Korea escalated.
It was a well done operation in what is a very tricky part of the world and an even trickier time. "This development does not seem to indicate a wider change in North Korea's behaviour", Ms. Berger said.
A Canadian pastor was on his way home Thursday (Aug 10) after being released from a North Korean prison where he spent the last two years, according to his family and the prime minister. The plane landed in the North Korean capital Monday. Sweden's embassy in Pyongyang, which represents several western nations in North Korea, also helped finalise his release.
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