Canadian foreign minister spoke to North Korean counterpart ahead of pastor's release

Claudine Rigal
Августа 12, 2017

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".

North Korea's KCNA news agency said on Wednesday that he was released on humanitarian grounds, though his family later said he was not in critical condition. He was later convicted of attempting to subvert the authoritarian regime of Kim Jong Un and sentenced to life in a labour camp.

"We stand by all of our allies very much including the United States".

"Canada really understands the importance of independent, objective, transparent dispute settlement within NAFTA and it's something that we'll be talking about with our partners and explaining to them", Freeland 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.

The release came a day after Canadian officials said a delegation led by the country's national security adviser had traveled to North Korea to discuss the case of Hyeon Soo Lim, sentenced to hard labor for life in December 2015.

"We need to seek ways to de-escalate the situation", she said.

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

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