A win for Canada in North Korea
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.