Pas­tor freed in North Korea ‘on his way home’

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

Rel­a­tives of a Cana­dian pas­tor re­leased this week af­ter more than two years in a North Korean prison said Thurs­day he is “on his way home’’ and they are anx­ious to be re­united with him.

The Korean Cen­tral News Agency re­ported Wed­nes­day that North Korea’s cen­tral court had de­cided to free Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serv­ing a life sen­tence for anti-state ac­tiv­i­ties.

The pas­tor’s re­lease was de­scribed as “sick bail,’’ but no other de­tails were given.

In a state­ment Thurs­day, a spokes­woman for his fam­ily said they look for­ward to his re­turn.

“We are re­lieved to hear that Rev. Lim is on his way home to fi­nally re­unite with his fam­ily and meet his grand­daugh­ter for the first time,’’ Lisa Pak said on the fam­ily’s be­half.

“There is a long way to go in terms of Rev. Lim’s heal­ing, there­fore, in the mean­time we ask the me­dia for pri­vacy as he re­con­nects with his loved ones and re­ceives med­i­cal at­ten­tion.’’

Pak also said the fam­ily is grate­ful to the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment and the Swedish em­bassy in North Korea for work­ing be­hind the scenes to se­cure the pas­tor’s free­dom.

CP PHOTO

Cana­dian pas­tor Hyeon Soo Lim, centre, is es­corted to his sen­tenc­ing in Py­ongyang, North Korea.

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