Hyeon Soo Lim, the Canadian pastor who was held in a North Korean prison for more than two years, has returned home safely after being released last week.
The 62-year-old Canadian pastor was released on humanitarian grounds on Wednesday, said the country’s KCNA news agency, according to Yahoo News. Lim was sentenced to hard labor for life and was imprisoned in December 2015 on charges of attempting to overthrow the North Korean regime.
Lim made his first ever public appearance during a church service on Sunday since his release last week. “I believe (North Korean leader) Kim Jung Un let me go as a gesture of goodwill in the face of so much rhetoric,” the pastor said during a service at the Light Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Reuters reported.
While speaking in front of hundreds of parishioners, Lim recalled some of the hardships he had gone through while inside the North Korean prison. “The mud was so hard that it took two days to dig one hole, 16 hours,” he said, further adding that his health suffered a lot on his first couple of months stay in solitary confinement and that he had dropped around 23 kg (51 pounds) during that time. Fortunately, the pastor reassured everyone that he has recovered since then.
He also recalled how the prison made him read 100 books and watch 300 films about North Korea during his first year of stay.
Unfortunately, the Canadian authorities failed to disclose the negotiations between the government and North Korea that ultimately led to Lim’s release.
Feature Image via YouTube / 100huntley