The pastor canadian released from North Korea describes “a loneliness oppressive”

  • Photo AFP
    The pastor ontario Hyeon Soo Lim.

    AFP

    Sunday, 13 August, 2017 15:27

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    Sunday, 13 August, 2017 15:27

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    The pastor of the canadian released by the North Korea has described Sunday, back at home, the difficult conditions of its two and a half years of detention by speaking of a “solitude oppressive”.

    Imprisoned since January 2015, the pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, aged 62, has appeared publicly on Sunday in front of his congregation in Mississauga in the greater Toronto area (Ontario, centre), in the wake of its return to canadian soil.

    Released Wednesday by the Pyongyang regime to “medical reason”, the pastor Lim appeared rather in good shape in his Church Korean presbyterian Light of Toronto.

    Smiling and slightly thin, in a dark suit and tie on a white shirt, the pastor is sitting next to his son in the first rank of the faithful, on his knees, his granddaughter, born while he was forced to labour in North Korea.

    This penalty had been imposed after his conviction for acts subversive against the north Korean regime, the accusations always denied by the canadian government.

    In a statement, the pastor Lim has spoken of the difficult conditions on the first day of his detention until my release where I took all my meals alone and it was difficult to see how and when this whole ordeal will end”.

    He had, on a floor, often frozen, to dig holes one meter by one meter deep “, sometimes taking two days to arrive to its ends, while suffering from frostbite. Hyeon Soo Lim has also worked in a center for storing coal, he said.

    The canadian government had thanked the Swedish diplomat, for his key role in the release of the pastor.

    This liberation has been obtained at the time when tensions are intensifying between North Korea and the United States, of which three citizens are still being held prisoner in North Korea.

    The pastor was considered his arrest as one of the most influential christian missionaries in North Korea. He had previously made many trips in this closed country to work in orphanages and hospitals.

    But some of the projects in which he participated, including a pasta factory and mills, were linked to associates of Jang Song-Thaek, uncle of Kim Jong-un arrested and executed for treason in December 2013.

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