North Korea Releases Jailed Canadian Pastor Amid Standoff With US

University of Montreal Daniel Turp Saudi Arms deal

University of Montreal Daniel Turp Saudi Arms deal

North Korea's KCNA news agency said on Wednesday that he was released on humanitarian grounds, though his family later said he was not in critical condition.

"What North Korea is doing is absolutely unacceptable, and it's posing an unacceptable security threat both in the region and to the entire world", she said.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated further this week as the United States and North Korea exchanged a series of threats, with US President Donald Trump tweeting on Friday that the USA military was "locked and loaded". He was later convicted of attempting to subvert the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un and sentenced to life in a labour camp. "When they are threatened, we are there", she said.

"We need to seek ways to de-escalate the situation", she said.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a Toronto-area pastor who was detained in North Korea for over two years, is back in the city after catching a connecting flight in Ottawa.

There was no obvious direct connection between the release and the standoff with the United States, but North Korea has in the past attracted the attention of Washington, and visits by high-profile Americans, with the detention and release of US citizens.

Freeland said the conversation with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho occurred on Sunday on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting of foreign ministers.

Lim was arrested in 2015 for allegedly meddling in North Korean state affairs.

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