North Korea says it has freed Canadian prisoner

North Korea prisoner Lim Hyeon-soo

North Korea says it has released a Canadian pastor who has been serving a life sentence since 2015 for anti-state activities over health reasons.

Pyongyang said Hyeon Soo Lim, 62, was freed on "sick bail" following a "humanitarian" ruling by the state's central court.

The Canadian delegation's arrival in Pyongyang was officially confirmed on Tuesday.

Two other Western Christians, a pair of American professors at North Korea's evangelical-run private university, were taken into custody in April and May-the latest in a string of missionaries to get in trouble in Pyongyang.

"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 can not provide any further comment at this time".

The American, 23, was released from Pyongyang prison and sent to the USA with "food poisoning" but soon died.

In letters to his family, the South Korean-born pastor complained of stomach pains and high blood pressure.

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Warmbier was in a coma when released by North Korean authorities, which according to the DPRK, was due to a rare case of botulism he contracted shortly after his sentencing in 2016.

The delegation that arrived in North Korea today was headed by Daniel Jean, who serves as Justin Trudeau's national security advisor.

Three american citizens are still prisoners in North Korea, while relations between Pyongyang and Washington have become increasingly tense, fed by statements by the warriors of both sides.

Hyeon had visited the isolated nation dozens of times to help set up and work with orphanages and nursing homes.

Several of them, mainly of american citizens of Korean origin, have been arrested in the past and were not able to return to their country only after the intervention of senior american officials.

Tensions between North Korea and the USA are on the rise, as North Korea has threatened to take punitive action against the U.S.in response to new sanctions, as well as other perceived provocations.

President Donald Trump has responded to recent threats from North Korea by pledging "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if they continue.

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