Canadian pastor released by North Korea returns home

12:15pm

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada stands by the United States, but called for a de-escalation in the war of words with North Korea.

Imprisoned since the month of February 2015 for acts subversive against the north Korean regime, the pastor has been released this week for medical reasons.

The two nuclear powers have been steadily increasing their rhetoric, leading Freeland to condemn North Korea's actions but suggest it's time to reel in the verbal threats.

Freeland's remarks came as Trump delivered another warning to Pyongyang that the US military is "locked and loaded" if the regime acts unwisely.

Freeland called repeatedly on North Korea to end its missile program.

"Having said that, I think that we need to seek ways to de-escalate the situation".

The pastor's son James Lim said his dad was happy to be back home in Canada, stopping for coffee and a donut at Canada's popular Tim Horton's coffee chain on his way home from the airport.

Freeland expressed relief at the release of Canadian pastor Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serving a life sentence in North Korea for anti-state activities.

South Korea, the USA and others often accuse North Korea of using foreign detainees to wrest diplomatic concessions, and foreigners have said after their release that their declarations of guilt were coerced while in North Korean custody. "When they are threatened, we are there", she said.

Canada's foreign minister says North Korea's nuclear program poses a "grave threat" to the security of the world and called on the country to fall into line with the worldwide community.

The pastor of the Mississauga Light Korean Presbyterian Church traveled regularly to North Korea for humanitarian missions and has always denied the allegations.

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