Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim | North Korea

On January 31, 2015, Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim (63) travelled from China to North Korea on a humanitarian aid visit, but disappeared during this time. Later it was revealed that he had been detained in February 2015. North Korea released a propaganda video of Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim confessing to his crimes, and on December 16, 2015, he was sentenced to life imprisonment with hard labour for crimes against the state.

Pastor Lim had run humanitarian projects in North Korea for nearly 20 years prior to his arrest. He has visited North Korea over 100 times since 1997, and helped to establish an orphanage and a nursing home there. Pastor Lim was born in South Korea, but immigrated to Canada in 1986, and is now a Canadian citizen. He was the senior pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church, Ontario where under his leadership, the church had grown from just a few, to approximately 3000 members.

Since his trial, Lim has been held in a labour camp. He appears to be the only inmate and has not seen any other prisoners. Lim works eight hours a day, six days a week, digging holes for the planting of apple trees in the prison orchard.

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