A Canadian pastor who has been held in North Korea since February for “crimes against the state” was sentenced to hard labor for life. Hyeon Soo Lim, the lead pastor of one of Toronto’s largest churches, has been accused of attempting to overthrow the North Korean government.
According to Christian Today, Lim confessed to helping people leave North Korea earlier this year. He also reportedly met with the U.S. ambassador to Mongolia to discuss his plans.
At a July News conference, Lim said he travelled to North Korea in an effort to defeat the country’s socialist regime “with the love of God.” Lim, a Canadian citizen had visited the country over 100 times since 1997 and established an orphanage and nursing home.
Lim handed down the hard labor sentence in Pyongyang on Wednesday (Dec. 16).
Previously, Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea. Bae was released after serving two years of his sentence.
Lim is now the only western citizen known to be held in the country.
Publication date: December 16, 2015