North Korea has sentenced a Canadian pastor to life imprisonment, the latest in a series of high-profile arrests and jailings of foreign missionaries accused of meddling in state affairs. South Korean-born Hyeon Soo Lim, pastor at the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, was sentenced by the Supreme Court following a brief trial, China's official Xinhua news agency reported from Pyongyang. The court found Lim guilty of joining the United States and South Korea in fomenting an anti-North Korean human rights "racket" and fabricating and circulating propaganda tarnishing the North's image. He was also accused of funding and helping defectors wanting to flee North Korea. According to the court, Lim confessed to all the charges and showed "deep remorse", Xinhua said. Lim was detained by North Korean authorities in January after arriving from China. According to his church in Toronto, he was on a purely humanitarian mission and had visited the North on numerous occasions to support work with orphanages and nursing homes. In August the North released a video showing Lim attending a Sunday service at Pyongyang's Pongsu Church and confessing to various charges in an address to a small congregation that included a number of foreigners. "I committed the gravest crime of insulting and defaming the top dignity and the leadership of the republic," Lim said in the video. Detained foreigners are habitually required to make public and officially scripted pronouncements of their guilt in order to help secure their eventual release. Source:AFP
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