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Pastor Hyeon Soo Lim is seen speaking in Pyongyang, North Korea on July 30, 2015 in the image made from video. "They hope that Canada presents some moderating influence on the Trump administration".

Canada recognized the Democratic People's Republic of Korea - North Korea's official name - in 2000.

"(But) I do not think it is directly connected to the tensions the US president has ratcheted up.

North Korea has in the past attracted the attention of Washington and visits by high-profile Americans with the detention and release of US citizens.

Charles Baik, an associate pastor with the church's English ministry, said members are ecstatic at the prospect of Lim's return.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement that he was "pleased and relieved" to confirm Lim's release, adding that Lim would "soon be reunited with his family and friends in Canada". His family is arriving separately.

The prime minister also thanked Sweden for its assistance in the matter but said "operational security considerations" prevents the government from discussing the matter further.

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Their calls for action took on fresh urgency in June following the death of Otto Warmbier, an American student who lived only one week after being released from North Korean custody due to health concerns. Warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster.

A Mississauga man who has been in detention in North Korea for the past two and a half years is finally coming home.

"They were sending medication but there was a question as to whether he was actually receiving it in the way he should". The U.S. State Department said last week it would ban U.S. nationals from travelling to the isolated country from September.

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.

At the time of his arrest, the representative of the presbyterian Church in korea in Light of Toronto was considered one of the most influential christian missionary in North Korea, a country that he had visited dozens of times to work in orphanages and hospitals.

Lim previous year told CNN he spent his days in prison digging holes at an orchard.

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