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Explained: Why Justin Trudeau thanked Sweden after North Korea released Canadian pastor

Explained: Why Justin Trudeau thanked Sweden after North Korea released Canadian pastor
From Global News - August 11, 2017

In his official statement following North Koreas release from prison of a Canadian pastor, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thanked his security adviser, who led the Canadian delegation to North Korea andSweden.

Why Sweden, you ask?

As Trudeau put it, the Nordic country is Canadas protecting power in North Korea, a not uncommon diplomatic relationship that exists when one country (in this case, Canada) doesnt have a diplomatic mission in another (North Korea, in this case).

WATCH:Parishioners react after Pastor Hyeon Soo Lims release


Canada-North-Korea relations

Canada recognizes North Korea, but describes itas an authoritarian state with dynastic government. Diplomatic ties between the countries were established in 2001, but short-lived, and neither country built an embassy before ties were cut in 2010.

Though Canada recommends against it, travel with a Canadian passport to North Korea is not prohibited. However, considering North Koreas highly repressive regime, as Global Affairs Canada has put it, tourists can easily find themselves on the wrong side of the law and in need of consular assistance.

READ MORE:Canadian pastor on his way home after years in North Korea prison, family says

With severed diplomatic ties and no embassy in North Korea, though, Canada has designated Sweden as its protecting power.

There is no resident Canadian government office in the country. The ability of Canadian officials to provide consular assistance in North Korea is extremely limited, the federal government warns online.

Six Canadians were registered as of Aug. 3 with Ottawa as being in North Korea, Global Affairs Canada said.

Establishing protective powers

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