Canadian pastor released by North Korea in ‘good health, spirits’ upon return to Ontario
A Mississauga, Ont., pastor released from prison in North Korea this week is said to be in “good health” after returning to Canada, according to his family who spoke at a press conference Saturday afternoon.
“He’s doing very, very well considering everything he has gone through,” said his son, James Lim. “He’s in very, very good spirits.”
Hyeon Soo Lim, a pastor with the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, had been serving a life sentence with hard labour for supposed anti-state activities when the North Korean government released him on what it described as “sick bail.”
“To witness my father coming off an airplane after two-and-half years — the sheer joy,” said James.
Family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said the 62-year-old had a “private reunion” with his family late Saturday morning.
WATCH: Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim back on home soil
James said his father is currently resting, but will attend service tomorrow at his church, which has put up a banner celebrating his return.
“He’s very very excited to come to church tomorrow,” James said. “He hasn’t seen the congregation in many years.”
The federal government says it’s celebrating Lim’s “long-awaited” return to Canada.
“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,” a statement from Global Affairs Canada said.
James said his entire family are “so grateful” to know that Canada “stood for him and stood by him.”
James noted his father’s first request upon returning home was a particularly Canadian one.
“He said he wanted to drop by a Tim Hortons and have a coffee and donut,” said James.
WATCH: Canadian pastor released by North Korea lands safely in Ontario
—With files from The Canadian Press
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