Released from North Korea, the pastor is en route to Canada

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With "relief", the head of the canadian government has announced that Hyeon Soo Lim "would soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada".

Canada has no diplomatic representation in Pyongyang and Sweden acts as its "protecting power" when it comes to consular issues affecting Canadians in North Korea.

News of his release came a day after a six-member Canadian government delegation arrived in North Korea to try to gain Lim's freedom.

"So far, it has been confirmed that government officials and a doctor are accompanying Reverend Lim", said the source, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to media.

The Globe and Mail reports that pastor Lim's church - Light Korean Presbyterian church in Mississauga, Ontario - was "ecstatic" at the news of his release.

"Operational security considerations prevent us from discussing the matter further".

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After intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests of missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland were carried out by North Korea last week, the UN imposed its "most stringent" restrictions so far with the intention of cutting almost $1bn out of the country's export revenue. "The standing committee collectively acknowledged the need for a stringent state of security in the region due to Pyongyang's recent continual provocations, and urged North Korea to immediately stop taking actions that are raising tensions". (STAND UP) The Blue House initially said it would not have held an NSC meeting just because of rhetoric but made a decision to convene the standing committee for now to analyze North Korea's military movements and the objective of the regime's threats.

Three US citizens remain in custody as relations with Washington have grown increasingly tense.

However, it's not just North Koreans who appear to be making preparations in the wake of escalating tensions and nuclear war threats between the two countries.

The 28-nation European Union has steadily increased asset freezes and travel bans on North Korea over its repeated violation of UN resolutions on its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

"All government-to-government cooperation and communication on topics not covered under the Controlled Engagement Policy has been suspended", Global Affairs says on its website. Under the SEMA sanctions, Canadian individuals and companies are banned from trading with North Korea and making new investments there, as well as providing financial services to North Korea and North Korean nationals.

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