Tensions are flaring with North Korea – but are there signs they’re hoping we don’t attack.
It’s hard to get that perception from the public statements made by President Donald Trump and the Supreme Leader. President Trump threatened on Tuesday to unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it endangered the United States, while Kim Jong-un said his military is “examining the operational plan” to bomb the U.S. territory of Guam with strategic ballistic missiles.
North Korea has performed five nuclear weapons tests over the past decade—all of which violated past agreements with the communist State. This year alone they’ve conducted 14 ballistic missile tests, some of which are believed to have a range of 4,000-6,200 miles. But should we be fearful?
Keep in mind that we are more than capable of intercepting North Korea’s rockets. We have ground-based interceptors stationed in South Korea that could intercept their missiles mid-course – and there are other interceptors in Alaska, California, and other potential targets. Who knows if North Korea is aware of that reality, but it is interesting to note that they just made a move that’s an unusually positive gesture to the West.
As North Korea and the United States exchange bellicose rhetoric, North Korea has released a Canadian pastor who had been in prison since 2015.
Hyeon Soo Lim, 62, was serving a life sentence for allegedly trying to overthrow the North Korean government, an allegation Canadian officials denied.
— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) August 9, 2017
Lim’s release came nearly two months after the death of American student Otto Warmbier, who had served a little over a year in a North Korean prison after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster.
Lim’s health has deteriorated, and he has experienced “dramatic” weight loss, said family spokeswoman Lisa Pak.
“We are relieved to hear that Rev. Lim is on his way home to finally reunite with his family and meet his granddaughter for the first time,” Pak said in a statement. “There is a long way to go in terms of Rev. Lim’s healing. Therefore, in the meantime we ask the media for privacy as he reconnects with his loved ones and receives medical attention.”
Lim’s son, James Lim, said he was told that over the weekend Canadian officials carrying a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un went to North Korea to secure Lim’s release.
Lim was detained in February 2015 while on a humanitarian mission, a family spokesperson said at the time. He was acting on behalf of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church, which he had led since 1986.
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The timing certainly is odd, especially given the fact that Lim was supposed to be serving a life sentence.
Meanwhile, three Americans (that we know of) are still in North Korean custody. We are praying for their safe return.
Share this story if you’re glad a pastor has been released from North Korea!
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