Canadian diplomats get access to jailed pastor in North Korea

North Korea sentences Canadian pastor to life in prison
North Korea sentences Canadian pastor to life in prison

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North Korea sentences Canadian pastor to life in prison 01:47

Story highlights

  • Canadian consular officials said Hyeon Soo Lim was in good health and "at peace"
  • He was sentenced to life in prison by North Korea "for subversive plots and activities"
  • The Toronto-based pastor has already been detained for 10 months

(CNN)Canadian diplomats have met for the first time with Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian citizen who was sentenced to life imprisonment last week by a North Korea court.

According to Lisa Pak, a leader and spokeswoman at Lim's church in Toronto, Friday was the first time consular officials in Pyongyang were granted access to Lim since he was detained by North Korea more than 10 months ago.
    Two officials from Canada's embassy in Seoul, along with a translator, spoke with Lim in the North Korean capital on Friday morning and found him to be "at peace" and in good health, Pak said.
    "He knows that our congregation is praying for him. He wants us to know that he's doing okay," Pak said.
    Lim also told the Canadian officials that the North Korean government had provided him with his blood pressure medication, according to Pak.

    Praying for his return

    News of the meeting was delivered at a prayer service held Sunday evening in the Light Korean Presbyterian Church where Lim was the senior pastor.
    More than 1,300 church and community members who had gathered to pray for Lim's safe return burst into applause as the interim senior pastor announced the development, Pak said.
    Details of the meeting were given by Canadian officials to members of Lim's family, who relayed the information to be announced by the church leadership.
    The diplomats who met with Lim also attended his trial on Tuesday where he received a life sentence from the North Korean court, Pak said.
    Representatives for the Canadian government did not respond to a request for comment.