Canadian Christian pastor is being held by North Korea

Light Korean Presbyterian Church, where Rev Hyeon Soo Lim is the head pastor. North Korea has detained Lim, who went missing after he travelled there on a humanitarian mission.Reuters

The Christian pastor who went missing in North Korea shortly after he was invited to the capital Pyongyang is being held by the communist state, it was confirmed today.

Rev Hyeon Soo Lim, 60, of the Light Korean Presbyterian Church in Toronto, Canada arrived in North Korea via China at the end of January and went missing soon afterwards.

His church said his family had "received notice from Canadian officials that the government of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea has confirmed that Mr Hyeon Soo Lim is being held in North Korea."

Canadian government officials are trying to help but because Ottawa has no diplomatic relations with North Korea, what they can do is limited.

Lim was involved in food and other projects, some of which were linked to Jang Song-Thaek, the late uncle of North Korea's president Kim Jong-Ung who was executed for treason in December 2012.

It was at first thought that he was in the standard 21-day quarantine for Ebola virus but fears grew after that period ended with no word.

Canada advises citizens not to travel to North Korea. Foreign missionaries have been arrested in the past in North Korea, although most have been freed after international intervention.