Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim lands in Ontario after release from North Korea

Toronto-area pastor Hyeon Soo Lim has landed close to his Ontario home today after more than two years in detention in North Korea.

Lim landed Saturday morning and is resting, said Lisa Pak, a spokesperson for the family, in an email to media.

The 62-year-old pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ont., just outside Toronto, had requested a private reunion with his family, Pak said. Family members will be available to speak to media at a news conference at the church later Saturday afternoon, she said. 

Lim and his family had not seen each other in person since the pastor was arrested in 2015 and sentenced to a life of hard labour in prison for crimes against the state. He was freed earlier this week, after a six-member Canadian delegation, led by Daniel Jean, who serves as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s national security and intelligence adviser, travelled to Pyongyang.  The delegation travelled back with the Presbyterian reverend.

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.

Chrystia Freeland expresses ‘relief’ over Hyeon Soo Lim’s release1:30

From there, the Royal Canadian Air Force CC-144 Challenger aircraft flew across the Pacific Ocean, making stopovers in Guam, Honolulu and Vancouver. It landed in southern Ontario Saturday morning. Pak did not confirm the location, referring media to Global Affairs Canada. 

The Canadian delegation was dispatched from Ottawa to the reclusive regime last Saturday. The team spent 40 hours in Pyongyang, from Tuesday evening until Thursday morning, holding talks with senior North Korean officials.

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