Canadian pastor released by North Korea returns home

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OTTAWA-A pastor in ontario, who was serving a sentence of life in prison in North Korea finally returned to the country Saturday.

News of his release surfaced on Wednesday, when North Korea's KCNA news agency said Lim was being let go on humanitarian grounds, suggesting his health was poor.

In direct conversations with North Korea and through China, Freeland said Canada sought to "get North Korea to understand that it must get off this path, which is so destructive for North Korea and the world".

Lim is a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga.

Lim said his father was resting at home and looked forward to going to his church's Sunday service and meeting with the community after so long.

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"He is doing very well, considering everything he has gone through", he said.

South Korea, the U.S. 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.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Friday condemned North Korea's "unacceptable" actions while urging both the United States and the totalitarian regime to step back from a possible catastrophic conflict on the Korean peninsula. "There's a lot of complexity to it", James Lim said.

The Canadian government issued a statement saying it joined Lim's family and congregation in celebrating his homecoming.

Lim's return to Canada comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though there authorities have not said there is any connection.

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