Pastor freed from North Korean prison arrives back in Canada

North Korea Jailed Canadian

North Korea posing 'grave threat' to world: foreign affairs minister

Freeland, speaking days after a Canadian pastor was released from a North Korean prison, said North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile program is a grave threat that must be stopped.

Family members will hold a Saturday afternoon press conference at his church, said spokeswoman Lisa Pak.

Lim, who served as pastor of one of Canada's largest churches, had been sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 after North Korea accused him of attempting to overthrow the regime.

James Lim said his dad was in "good health", but noted that the family planned to arrange for extended medical attention, including checkups.

They flew to the Yokota Airbase in Japan from Pyongyang on Thursday, after North Korea's Central Court granted Lim "sick bail" on humanitarian grounds. Pak said it was not clear whether Pastor Lim, 62, would be at the press conference, but said he would attend church services on Sunday.

The announcement came amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though authorities have not said there is any connection between his release and efforts to defuse the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.

"We need to find ways to pressure and persuade North Korea that the path that it is on. this path can have no positive ending for North Korea", she said following a meeting with agricultural groups in Edmonton on Friday. The delegation travelled back with the Presbyterian pastor. She said Canada had been clear from the outset that Lim had to be released and returned home.

Global Affairs Canada issued a statement on Lim's release Saturday asking that his family's request for privacy be respected.

Lim's release came almost two months after USA college student Otto Warmbier died shortly after he was released from North Korea in a coma.

"Canada has been actively engaged on Mr. Lim's case at all levels, and we will continue to support him and his family now that he has returned" the statement reads.

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