North Korea Releases Canadian Prisoner As Tillerson Talks Down "Imminent Threat"

In two welcome signs of de-escalation after yesterday's sudden spike in bellicose rhetoric, moments ago North Korea released a Canadian man from prison on humanitarian grounds, the Korean Central News Agency reported on Wednesday. He was serving a life sentence in the country for anti-state activities. As CGTN adds, Rim Hyon Su, also known as Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo was sentenced to life in prison with hard labor in December 2015.

The release was expected following yesterday's news that Canadian special envoy, Daniel Jean, national security advisor to the prime minister of Canada, and his party had arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

As the WSJ adds, and as we said yesterday, the release of Rev. Lim Hyeon-soo could also lower tensions between North Korea and the Western world. However, hours before Lim was released, North Korea and Donald Trump exchanged heated public threats, which unleashed a "risk off" shockwave around the globe.

Lim's Toronto-area church has said he visited the North more than 100 times since 1997 and helped set up an orphanage and nursing home. Last year, Lim told CNN he spent eight hours a day digging holes at a labor camp where he had not seen any other prisoners. Lim, 62, was arrested by North Korea in 2015 and given a lifetime sentence of hard labor in December that year for conducting “hostile deeds” against the state. Lim’s detention of more than two years surpassed that of Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary whose imprisonment in North Korea was the longest known for a U.S. citizen. Mr. Bae was released in late 2014, roughly two years after his detention.

North Korea said in a brief statement through its official state media that Mr. Lim was released “on sick bail,” citing a humanitarian concern for his health.


The release comes about two months after Pyongyang released Otto Warmbier, a former University of Virginia undergraduate, to the U.S. following a lengthy detention and sentencing of hard labor. Mr. Warmbier returned to the U.S. with a severe brain injury and died six days after his return.

North Korea is still holding three Americans. The U.S. State Department said last week it would ban U.S. nationals from traveling to the isolated country, beginning in September.

Separately, in a parallel attempt at de-escalataion, Sec. State Rex Tillerson also stepped in to calm the mood, when speaking to reporters this morning, he says he doesn't believe there is "any imminent threat" from North Korea, and says that they should "have no concerns about this particular rhetoric of the last few days." As the AP adds, he downplayed speculation that the US was moving closer to a military option.

In an amusing twist, Tillerson tried to justify Trump's bombastic threats, saying that "Trump is sending a message to North Korea in language Kim Jong Un would understand."

Also attempting to push the world back from the edge of nuclear armageddon was China, which urged calm on Wednesday after North Korea said it was considering plans for a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam. China called on all parties to "avoid any words or actions that might escalate the situation and make even greater efforts to resolve the issue via talks," the ministry said in a statement sent to Reuters.

Also on Wednesday, Germany echoed China's sentiment, when the German government said “escalating rhetoric” on North Korea is of “great concern" and added that “continued saber-rattling will certainly be of no help to us,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters in Berlin. The spokesman added that “a military course of action cannot be a solution toward a nuclear-free region” and called on "all those involved to moderate” their tone.

And while everyone else was seeking to tone down the militant rhetoric, US Senator Senator Graham, with all the grace of a warhawk in a China - or rather North Korea - store was quoted with some rather defiant comments, suggesting the US would go to war with North Korea if Guam were attacked.:


So will the Neocons and military-industrial complex win this round and launch another meaningless war? The answer may be revealed in Trump's very next tweet.


Dode415 Wed, 08/09/2017 - 07:56 Permalink

Trump " one more threat and I'll rain fire and righteous fury down upon you"NoRKS " fuck you dickhead - we're going to nuke Guam"Trump (shitting pants) "Rex, Rex , get me outta here"

Pliskin shovelhead Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:19 Permalink

The U.S. didn't do fuck all, just more loud-mouthed rhetoric from the nation of chicken-shits!Maybe the U.S. could invade Burundi, they're a weak ass nation with no armed forces, might make the Trumpster and his devoted followers feel good about themselves!Oh, not to forget the Hillary voters/supporters, them soft ass cunts love a war, as long as it isn't in the U.S. in which case they'll shit themselves and run for cover!NW, where's that fucking dickhead that calls everyone Peanutz?FUCK HIM TOO.Faggot. 

In reply to by shovelhead

tmosley Pliskin Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:23 Permalink

Hahaha, the peanut is angry that the world isn't on fire.He'd rather the world turn into a cinder than be wrong about Trump.This is why he is, and always will be a peanut.This was a big first offer met by a big counteroffer. Kim isn't crazy. He's a good negotiator. The North Korean situation is now on its way to being resolved via diplomacy.

In reply to by Pliskin

FoggyWorld Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:01 Permalink

Now a cork in Nikki's mouth.Silence can be golden and this is one of those times.  We need to watch and listen 24/7 though and try to find a way to work towards standing down.This is one reason friendship with Putin and Lavrov could have been so helpful and yet we have a totally ignorant Congress and Senate that persist in making Russia, Russia, Russia the convenient for the neo con, Big Bad Bear.  Huuuuuge mistake that we ought to correct starting today. That will take real leadership.  

NickPeeMe Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:06 Permalink

If there really was a deep state now would be a good time to toss Trump into that rubber room.They could live stream the bullshit coming out of his mouth as he bangs his head on the wall. That way his shit for brains followers would have something to live on while they prey for a miracle.

Oldwood NickPeeMe Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:26 Permalink

Yes I remember distinctly how the "cowboy" Reagan was going to destroy the world in nuclear war. Tough talk can sometimes have more positive effect than covert military and intelligence activities creating a world in chaos.Progressives are simply scared shitless that Trump will actually use the power that they have so diligently built over decades of indoctrination....against THEM. Let's not beat about the bush here. Trump scares them to death, not because he might start a nuclear war, but that he will work to destroy THEM.  Their indoctrination and mind control empire of collective DEPENDENCY. A self made billionaire is the ultimate threat to their ideology of collective corruption.

In reply to by NickPeeMe

squid canadian shenanigans Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

Was it a he, she, former he, former she, a they, a them? What does Justin's new C16 say we're supposed to call him/it/her/them? Yessir, my grand mother's brother laying in Cassio War cemetery is so proud he gave his life for Justin and he/she/it/them/they.....ppffffttttt.... Just a note for you Justin, I will NOT go to war EVER for fag marriage or trans rights....NEVER!!! You and Madam chief justice kiss-my-ass can grab a weapon and stand a watch. Fuck you all. Fucking trust fund kids and the retarded voters of ontario. Squid

In reply to by canadian shenanigans

Felix da Kat Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:16 Permalink

Kim's strategy here is to buy more weapon-development time. The inevitable is unavoidable. Kim is a psychotic leader whose mind-set is solely focused upon inflicting death and destruction upon the US. That will not change. The welfare of his countrymen are secondary. And as it was with despotic-Hitler, it would be no surprise to hear that one of his trusted inner-circle members, has either killed or tried to kill him in order to save their country from the ravages of war.

swmnguy Felix da Kat Wed, 08/09/2017 - 09:42 Permalink

What?  What has Kim Jong-Un ever done that suggests psychosis?  Nork propaganda is delightfully over-the-top, but by what action has Kim exhibited a lack of reason?And, since the Norks have been pursuing and gaining nuclear weapons, how many Color Revolutions, coups d'etat and outright invasions have they had to fend off?  As opposed to, say, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, Venezuela and even Iran?  And, in the meantime, how much actual damage have the Norks inflicted on the USA?  Even if one considers verbal insults to be actual harm, as seems to be the fashion in some circles.  Any?  At all?Nope, here we see the true value of nuclear weapons.  And the difference between "Psychotic" and "Pragmatic."

In reply to by Felix da Kat

Bai Suzhen Wed, 08/09/2017 - 08:19 Permalink

Only a complete idiot would go to NK and start up with the Jesus thing.  Or whatever he was doing.  I'm sure that a lot of feminized Canadians feel sorry for the guy, and are happy he is coming back, but there has to come a time in the life of a nation when it realizes that conducting foreign policy around the behavior of idiots and fools is not the best plan.  Of course when you have idiots and fools as politicians, what can be expected?