Home World Asia News Hyeon Soo Lim: Canadian pastor fails to return from North Korea

Hyeon Soo Lim: Canadian pastor fails to return from North Korea

Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim has failed to return from a humanitarian visit to North Korea, an official from his church says.

Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, 60, travelled to North Korea on January 31 and was due to leave on February 4.

Hyeon Soo Lim has made hundreds of trips to North Korea, where he helps oversee a nursing home, a nursery and an orphanage, his church said, but this was the longest he had been out of touch.Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim missing after North Korea trip

Canadian officials said they were in contact with Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim’s family and had offered consular assistance.

North Korea periodically detains visiting foreign nationals, particularly those linked to religious activity – which is restricted inside the country.

US citizens are generally held the longest. North Korea is seen as using them to try to extract political concessions.

Citizens from nations of less political importance to Pyongyang can be freed quickly. An Australian missionary detained in February 2014 for leaving Christian material at a tourist site was swiftly deported.

Church officials initially wondered whether Rev. Hyeon Soo Lim had become caught up in a 21-day quarantine North Korea said it was imposing on travelers potentially exposed to Ebola.

Canada advises against all travel to North Korea and has no diplomatic presence in the country.

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