Update: This article was updated at 14:30 KST to reflect a statement by a Canadian government spokesperson.
A delegation of the Canadian Government arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday, according to a report published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on the same day.
The brief report only announces the arrival of the delegation in the country and does not include any details on the purpose of the visit by Canadian representatives.
“Daniel Jean, national security advisor to the prime minister of Canada who is special envoy of the Canadian prime minister, and his party arrived here Tuesday,” the article reads.
No further details were included by North Korea’s primary state media outlet, but a press officer for Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Prime Minister, confirmed to Reuters that the group was visiting to discuss the case of Pastor Lim Hyeon-soo, a Canadian currently imprisoned in North Korea.
“A Canadian government delegation is currently in Pyongyang to discuss Pastor Lim’s case,” press secretary Cameron Ahmad said.
“His health and wellbeing remain of utmost importance to the government and we are obviously continuing to engage on his case and, given that it is an active case, we cannot provide any further comment at this time.”
Lim went missing during a trip to North Korea in January 2015 after traveling to the country in order to continue working on humanitarian projects previously established with the blessing of the North Korean government.
In March 2015 it emerged that Lim had been arrested and he was subsequently sentenced to a life sentence of hard labor in December of the same year for numerous charges, including what DPRK authorities claimed was an attempt to overthrow the government.
Lim was interviewed by CNN in January 2016 and revealed that he has been required to perform hard labor alone in a prison camp.
In December of 2016, another Canadian delegation visited Pyongyang to discuss Lim’s case with North Korean authorities. Lim’s family subsequently confirmed that the delegation was given consular access to Lim during the trip.
Lim’s family has urged for the release of the Pastor throughout his detention and a spokesperson for the family told NK News on Tuesday that they were hopeful the current visit is related to Lim.
“There may be other reasons too for the visit. We are hoping that Reverend Lim’s well-being and release are topics that are discussed,” Lisa Pak, a spokesperson for the Light Presbyterian Korean Church in Toronto, told NK News.
North Korea has previously criticized the government of Canada for expressing concern regarding Lim’s case following his sentencing.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: by Comrade Anatolii on 2013-04-26 08:13:16
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 443 words of this article.