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Canadian officials meet pastor sentenced to life in prison in North Korea

Hyeon Soo Lim, center, who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, is escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015.
Hyeon Soo Lim, center, who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, is escorted to his sentencing in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of – North Korea’s state media says Canadian officials have met with a detained Ontario pastor who has been sentenced to life in prison in the country.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church of Mississauga, Ont., was sentenced last December by a North Korean court to life in prison with hard labour for what it called crimes against the state.

READ MORE: North Korea discusses detainment of Canadian pastor with Sweden’s ambassador: report

Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency said a Canadian government delegation led by Sarah Taylor, director general for North Asia and Oceania for Global Affairs Canada, arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for a three-day visit to discuss Lim’s case and other issues.

The agency said the Canadian officials met Lim, but provided no further details.

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READ MORE: North Korea calls Canada, Trudeau’s reaction to jailed pastor ‘malicious slander’

Lim was convicted by Pyongyang’s Supreme Court for trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system and helping U.S. and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens.

North Korea is often accused of using foreign detainees as a way to win concessions from other countries. The country is locked in a standoff with the international community over its expanding nuclear weapons and missiles program.

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