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Canadian pastor freed by North Korea speaks publicly for first time – Toronto

A Canadian pastor has spoken publicly for the first time since his release from imprisonment in North Korea last week.  

Hyeon Soo Lim, 62, attended Sunday’s service at his church in Mississauga, Ont., near Toronto. Before getting up to speak in Korean at the end of the service, he sat at the front of the church, accompanied by his son and infant granddaughter.

James Lim, the son of Hyeon Soo Lim, speaks to reporters at the Light Presbyterian Church, in Mississauga, Ont., after his father’s return home from a North Korean prison on Saturday. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

He was reunited with his family in Ontario on Saturday after more than two years in detention in North Korea. The service is at Light Presbyterian Church, 6965 Professional Court, near Derry Road East and Goreway Drive.

When Lim, who is a pastor at the church, entered the building, he was surrounded by a crush of reporters. He raised his hands as cameras flashed.

Lim was arrested in North Korea in 2015 and sentenced to a life of hard labour in prison for alleged crimes against the state. He was released last week on what the North Korean government called “sick bail.” 

Pastor Hyeon Soo Lin, second from right, of Mississauga, Ont., greets family after being released from a North Korean prison at an undisclosed location on Saturday. (Canadian Press)

His son, James Lim, told reporters in a news conference on Saturday that the family is thrilled that his father is now home.

Lim himself did not appear at the news conference, but he walked away from the plane unaided. His son said his father appeared to be in “good health” though the family plans to arrange for a complete checkup. His son said Lim lost about 50 pounds during his incarceration.

When Lim was reunited with his family, he met his granddaughter, under a year old, for the first time. according to his son.

In a statement on Saturday, Global Affairs Canada said it celebrated his return to Canada. 

“Canada has…

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