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N Korea sentences Canadian pastor to life behind bars

A North Korean court has sentenced a South Korea-born Canadian pastor to life imprisonment with hard labor after being convicted of committing crimes against the East Asian country.

The North’s Supreme Court sentenced Hyeon Soo-lim after a brief trial, China’s Xinhua news agency reported from Pyongyang on Wednesday.

The Toronto-based pastor was found guilty of joining a human rights campaign by the US and South Korea against North Korea as well as fabricating and spreading propaganda to stain the image of Pyongyang.

According to Xinhua, Lim was also accused of funding and helping “defectors” to flee North Korea.

Lim earlier confessed to a “subversive plot” to overthrow the North Korean government.

He was arrested in January after arriving in North Korea from China. The Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, where he was the pastor, said Lim was on a humanitarian mission in the Asian country and had visited the country several times to work with nursing homes and orphanages.

In a video released in August, Lim confessed to different charges at a small congregation at Pyongyang’s Pongsu Church, saying, “I committed the gravest crime of insulting and defaming the top dignity and the leadership of the republic.”


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