European Council widens sanctions against North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made more threats against the US

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made more threats against the US

"I am pleased and relieved to confirm that Pastor Lim has been released from jail in North Korea and that he will soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada", Trudeau said.

The federal government, which sent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's senior adviser on foreign affairs to Pyongyang, was working behind the scenes and deserves credit for Lim's release.

But in 2015 the North Koreans arrested him, charged him with plotting to overthrow the Kim regime, and had him sentenced to life in prison at hard labour.

Lim's Toronto-area church has said he visited the North more than 100 times since 1997 and helped set up an orphanage and nursing home.

This April 15, 2017 picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on April 16, 2017 shows Korean People's ballistic missiles being displayed through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade in Pyongyang marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung.

"The Government of Canada was actively engaged on Mr. Lim's case at all levels", said Trudeau.

"Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further", he added, asking the media to respect the family's privacy.

But they were thrilled with the prime minister's statement.

Victim's Remains Identified Some 16 Years Later
In some cases, scientists have gone back to the same bone fragment 10 or more times , hoping new technology will provide answers. In 2013, authorities sifted through truckloads of debris unearthed by construction crews working on the rebuilding.

The church has taken on numerous humanitarian projects in North Korea, one of which prompted Lim's last trip there in January 2015.

After tests of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the U.S. mainland, the United Nations last week imposed the most damaging restrictions so far aimed at slashing North Korea's vital export earnings.

Lim's release came almost two months after USA college student Otto Warmbier died shortly after he was released from North Korea in a coma. It's possible they wanted him out before his health deteriorated further and they faced an embarrassing repeat of the case of Otto Warmbier, the American who was so badly treated in North Korea that he died days after being freed.

Three US citizens remain in custody as relations with Washington have grown increasingly tense.

Canadian Senator Yonah Martin, who advocated for Lim's release, said Lim was hospitalised during his imprisonment.

The meeting was called after North Korea earlier this week declared that it will quote "seriously" examine an "enveloping strike" of Guam with four of its missiles, and will finalize a plan to do that by mid-August.

The 28-nation European Union has steadily increased asset freezes and travel bans on North Korea over its repeated violation of UN resolutions on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

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