A win for Canada in North Korea

North Bay Nugget - - OPINION -

the world is watch­ing to see what North Korea will do next.

is there any­thing that will calm Kim Jong-un’s nu­clear-em­bold­ened agenda?

Will he ac­tu­ally strike the u.s. ter­ri­tory of guam? is nu­clear war im­mi­nent? it’s trou­bling stuff. But amid it all, there is a glim­mer of hope that di­plo­matic so­lu­tions with North Korea are pos­si­ble.

af­ter all, Cana­dian pub­lic ser­vants have just ac­com­plished such a win.

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.

on Wed­nes­day, the rogue state re­leased Cana­dian pris­oner Pas­tor hyeon soo Lim, from the Light Korean Pres­by­te­rian Church of Mis­sis­sauga.

For years, Lim had been vis­it­ing the her­mit king­dom do­ing hu­man­i­tar­ian work.

since the 1990s he’d been to the coun­try over a hun­dred times to sup­port an or­phan­age and nurs­ery.

But dur­ing a visit in Jan­uary, 2015 he was ar­rested and im­pris­oned on bo­gus charges of crimes against the state.

as an older man with health prob­lems, he needed med­i­ca­tion and his fam­ily was deeply con­cerned for his well-be­ing.

af­ter the regime re­leased amer­i­can pris­oner otto Warm­bier, there was ini­tial op­ti­mism around Lim’s re­lease.

But Warm­bier was in such poor con­di­tion that, trag­i­cally, he died only days af­ter his re­turn.

this nat­u­rally wor­ried Lim’s fam­ily, Cana­di­ans and our pub­lic ser­vants work­ing on his case.

on tues­day, a Cana­dian del­e­ga­tion led by se­nior Cana­dian bu­reau­crat daniel Jean went to North Korea to seek Lim’s re­lease.

at the time of this writ­ing, Lim had yet to set foot on Cana­dian soil, but by all ac­counts it seems this ef­fort has suc­ceeded.

a North Korean news agency an­nounced Lim was be­ing re­leased on hu­man­i­tar­ian grounds. he will be home soon. this is good news for Lim and his fam­ily. the trudeau gov­ern­ment, the Cana­dian del­e­ga­tion and Jean, a for­mer deputy for­eign af­fairs min­is­ter, should be com­mended.

it’s also good news for the global com­mu­nity that’s hop­ing for a di­plo­matic so­lu­tion to the emerg­ing nu­clear cri­sis.

We don’t yet know the de­tails of the ex­change or the con­di­tions Lim en­dured, but this is a sign North Korea can be rea­soned with on some level.

right now, the world needs what­ever as­sur­ances it can get.

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