Pastor freed from North Korea arrives back in Canada


North Korea's Central Court on Wednesday released imprisoned Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim over health issue.

An effective dispute settlement mechanism is essential in any trade agreement, Canada's foreign affairs minister said on Friday, less than a week before the first round of negotiations on the North American trade pact.

The family asked the public to respect their privacy, allowing him to rest for a day and catch up with family before appearing in public on Sunday to attend services at his church.

Lim is pastor at the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto. "Canada has played an active role at all levels in the case of Mr. Lim, and we will continue to support him and his family, now that he is back", said world Affairs Canada in a press release.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent national security adviser Daniel Jean to North Korea to seek Lim's freedom.

Lim was detained by North Korean authorities in January 2015 while in the country on a charitable mission.

The release comes at a time of swirling worldwide tension in Pyongyang, Steven Denney, a doctoral fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs' Asian Institute, has said it is possible that Mr. Lim's release was intended as a goodwill message, to try to portray itself as a country capable of reasonable negotiation.

Lim's release came almost two months after U.S. college student Otto Warmbier died shortly after he was released from North Korea in a coma.

"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.