Canada 'dismayed' at life sentence handed to pastor in North Korea

Canadian officials say they're "dismayed" by the life sentence handed down to an Ontario pastor who was found guilty by a North Korean court of crimes against the state.

See Full Article

Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim, who pastors the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, was given the sentence after a 90-minute trial before the country's Supreme Court on Wednesday.

"Canada is dismayed at the unduly harsh sentence given to Mr. Lim by a North Korean court, particularly given his age and fragile health," Francois Lasalle, acting director of Global Affairs Canada, said in a statement to CTV News on Wednesday.

Lim travelled to North Korea in January as part of a humanitarian mission and he has been in detention in the communist country since February.

His family said Lim, who's in his early 60s, has made more than 100 trips to North Korea since 1997.

"Despite repeated requests, Canadian officials have not been able to meet with him to verify his health and well-being," Lasalle said.

Officials said the first opportunity they had to see Lim since his arrest was during his trial. LaSalle said North Korea violated the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, which safeguards the right of states have consular access to their citizens.

"Like Mr. Lim's family and friends, the Government of Canada remains concerned for his rights and well-being and wishes to see him return to Canada,” Lasalle said.

His family has said Lim travels to North Korean as part of a regular humanitarian mission, where he supports a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage.

Lim's charges included harming the dignity of the supreme leadership, trying to use religion to destroy the North Korean system, disseminating negative propaganda about the country to Koreans overseas, helping American and South Korean authorities lure and abduct North Korean citizens, and helping defectors from the North.

In July, Lim appeared at a news conference organized by North Korean authorities in Pyongyang and admitted to plotting to overthrow the North Korean state.

Other foreigners detained in North Korea and later released have said they were coerced into making similar statements and confessing guilt during their detention.

With files from The Canadian Press



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Biden's German Shepherd has aggressive incident and is sent back to Delaware

    World News CTV News
    The two German Shepherds belonging to U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were returned to the Biden family home in Delaware last week after aggressive behaviour at the White House involving Major Biden, two sources with knowledge tell CNN. Source
  • Evacuations ordered after heavy rains breach dam on Maui

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- Heavy rains caused a dam to overflow on the Hawaiian island of Maui, and and nearby residents in the community of Haiku are being evacuated, county officials said Monday. The National Weather Service reported 13.2 inches (33.5 centimetres) of rain fell in the Haiku area of Maui's North Coast between 7 a.m. Source
  • 'Thinking with their hearts': Ice fishers providing meals for Winnipeg's homeless

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Anglers from a popular fishing hole in southern Manitoba are providing hot meals for Winnipeg's homeless after a bountiful season on the ice. For weeks, thousands of anglers have crowded the ice on a particular part of Lake Winnipeg near the town of Riverton, saying the fishing has been best there this year. Source
  • Man arrested in Capitol Hill attack was reportedly bodyguard for Trump confidant Roger Stone

    World News CBC News
    Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former president Donald Trump's longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday. Source
  • International Women's Day: Can COVID-19 bring sea change to private sector, public policy?

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- When Faye Pang became pregnant while working at Uber, the company had to scramble to put together a maternity leave policy. She was the first woman at the ridesharing firm in Canada who required it, she said, and they had noprotocol in place. Source
  • Large underground party broken up by police in southeast Edmonton

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Police estimate about 200 people took part in an illegal party in southeast Edmonton early Sunday. CTV News Edmonton arrived on scene as an armada of officers pulled up to Ellwood Corner, a business plaza in Edmonton's southeast Ellerslie neighbourhood around midnight. Source
  • RNC maintains right to use Trump's name in fundraising

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee is defending its right to use former U.S. President Donald Trump's name in fundraising appeals after he demanded they put an end to the practice. In a Monday letter to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel J. Source
  • Trump, RNC clash over using his name in fundraising

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee is defending its right to use former U.S. President Donald Trump's name in fundraising appeals after he demanded they put an end to the practice. In a Monday letter to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel J. Source
  • Arizona man who wore horns in Capitol riot to remain jailed

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- An Arizona man who stormed the U.S. Capitol two months ago while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns will remain jailed until his trial, a federal judge ruled Monday, saying the man's willingness to resort to violence and refusal to follow police orders during the siege signal that he wouldn't follow court-ordered conditions of release. Source
  • Hillary Clinton on Meghan and Harry's interview: Women 'should not be forced into a mold that is no longer relevant'

    World News CTV News
    Hillary Clinton weighed in Monday on Oprah Winfrey's explosive interview with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, offering support for Meghan and decrying the tabloids and bureaucracy that often targeted her. "I found it so heart-rending to watch," Clinton said during a Washington Post Live event on Monday, noting that she had met the pair as well as Harry's late mother, Princess Diana. Source