- Hyeon Soo Lim had been detained in North Korea since January
- North Korea sees evangelists as posing a threat to regime
North Korea sentenced a Canadian pastor to life imprisonment after accusing him of plotting to overthrow the regime of leader Kim Jong Un, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
Hyeon Soo Lim, who was sentenced to a term of hard labor, had been detained since traveling to North Korea in January. In footage released in August, he confessed to defaming the nation and attempting to lure North Koreans to defect.
Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Lim, who repeated his confession at Wednesday’s trial, KCNA said. Former captives have said after release from North Korea that they had been coerced into making confessions.
North Korea views evangelists with suspicion, seeing them as posing a threat to the regime. Last year, American missionary Kenneth Bae was released from a 15-year sentence after U.S. National Intelligence Director James Clapper visited Pyongyang.