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Canadian aid worker freed by North Korea

ICC Note:

Wide support and diplomatic negotiations win the release of Canadian humanitarian aid worker and Christian minister.

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1/28/2008 North Korea (TheStar) Kim, who had been held by the North Koreans since Nov. 3, was released and left the country Saturday following last week’s Canadian diplomatic mission to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang by Ted Lipman, Canada’s ambassador to South Korea.

Foreign Affairs would not comment last night on the nature of the negotiations that won Kim’s release.

Nor would they comment on his condition, or where he was being kept, although it is believed he was flown to Beijing Saturday – on board one of only two flights that connect North Korea to the Chinese capital each week.

The Kim story, involving as it does a communist country that is one of the most secretive and unpredictable nations on the planet, is one that has been kept under wraps from the beginning and was first reported by the Star last week.

The family had told friends and supporters early on that it preferred to rely on “quiet diplomacy” to win Kim’s release, fearful there could be repercussions from the North Koreans if adverse publicity leaked out. The family was particularly concerned news of Kim’s detention could spark demonstrations, to which the government in Pyongyang would react negatively.

Once news of Kim’s continued detention began to spread, Korean Canadian Associations across the country did send petitions to Stephen Harper’s Conservative government demanding urgent action.

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