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N. Korea Says Jailed Canadian Missionary Admits to 'Subversive' Acts

A photo provided by the Light Korean Presbyterian Church on March 5, 2015 shows Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim at an agricultural project in North Korea, with the faces of North Korean workers digitally blocked by the church to hide their identities.

A Korean-Canadian missionary detained in North Korea since January has reportedly confessed to plotting so-called subversive acts against the North.

Pyongyang's official news agency said Thursday Reverend Hyeon Soo Lim, pastor of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, admitted during a press conference to "subversive plots and activities in a sinister bid to build a religious state in the DPRK"

A Canadian foreign ministry spokeswoman says "Canada is deeply concerned with the case of Mr. Lim. We continue to advocate for consular access and for a resolution in this case."

She gave no other information or comment on the reported confession.

Staff members at Lim's Toronto church says he has traveled to North Korea more than 100 times and has helped build a orphanage and a nursing home along with various other humanitarian work.

The North Koreans say those were a cover for his subversive activities.

Church members say they have not heard from Lim since he began his last visit to the north in January.

North Korea has a history of arresting missionaries and giving them long prison terms. Some, including Americans, were later freed after intervention by current or former U.S. officials.