TORONTO (Reuters) – Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim on Saturday arrived home in Canada, where he was resting after being reunited with his family following a long trek from North Korea, where he had been imprisoned since 2015, according to a family spokeswoman.
Family members will hold a press conference at his church in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said in a statement. Pak said it was not clear whether Pastor Lim, 62, would be at the press conference, but said he would attend church services on Sunday.
Lim, a leader of one of Canada’s largest churches, had been sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015 on charges of attempting to overthrow the North Korean regime.
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.
Footage from Japan’s ANN television showed Lim walking on a tarmac next to Canada’s national security adviser, Daniel Jean, at the Yokota Air Base on the outskirts of Tokyo, in a stop en route to his home.
Lim’s return to Canada comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang, though there authorities have not said there is any connection.
Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Chizu Nomiyama