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Canadian pastor returns home after release from North Korean prison

12 Août 2017

North Korea freed a Canadian pastor serving a life sentence there on humanitarian grounds, the official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday, just hours after the United States warned it would counter any threat from the North with "fire and fury".

On Wednesday, North Korea said it was considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam, just hours after President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury".

"We stand by all of our allies very much including the United States. When they are threatened, we are there", she said.

Freeland said the conversation with North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho occurred on Sunday on the sidelines of an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting of foreign ministers.

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It also said that the two "reiterated their mutual commitment to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula". Trump administration officials haven't been on the same page about North Korea .

There was no obvious direct connection between the release and the standoff with the United States, but North Korea has in the past attracted the attention of Washington, and visits by high-profile Americans, with the detention and release of USA citizens.

Freeland said Canada is "working with our global partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation" in the situation.

Hyeon Soo Lim, a Toronto-area pastor who was detained in North Korea for over two years, is back in the city after catching a connecting flight in Ottawa.

The South Korean-born pastor had been accused of subversive acts against Pyongyang, an allegation Canadian authorities strongly denied.

Canadian pastor returns home after release from North Korean prison