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Canadian pastor released by North Korea returns home
13 August 2017, 01:18 | Austin Hogan
Canada FM urges US, North Korea to step back
"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.
"This is a grave situation. It's time for North Korea to really cease its actions".
Freeland expressed relief at the release of Canadian pastor Hyeong Soo Lim, who was serving a life sentence in North Korea for anti-state activities.
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated further this week as the United States and North Korea exchanged a series of threats, with US President Donald Trump tweeting on Friday that the USA military was "locked and loaded".
Family members will hold a press conference at his church in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga, family spokeswoman Lisa Pak said in a statement.
James Lim said his dad was in "good health", but noted that the family planned to arrange for extended medical attention, including checkups.
She said when Canada's allies are threatened, including the United States, "we are there".
Freeland said Canada is "working with our global partners to seek a resolution, a de-escalation" in the situation.
The Canadian government issued a statement on Saturday, saying it joined Lim's family and congregation in celebrating his homecoming.
But she said his release and Canada's stand on North Korea's nuclear program are not linked.
The pastor's son James Lim said his dad was happy to be back home in Canada, stopping for coffee and a donut at Canada's popular Tim Horton's coffee chain on his way home from the airport. He had been sentenced to hard labour for what it called crimes against the state.
The Toronto resident Lim started the Light Korean Presbyterian Church nearly 30 years ago.
His family is expected to address the media Saturday afternoon.
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