Pope, meeting South Korean leader, says he’s open to visiting North
Pope Francis, at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said he is willing to visit North Korea.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had asked Moon to tell the pope of the invitation. According to Yonhap, the Korean news agency, Moon’s press secretary told reporters the pope said he would accept “if an (official) invitation arrives and I can go.'”
Meeting the South Korean president on 18th October, the pope praised Moon’s efforts to promote peace in the Korean peninsula.
“Move forward without stopping. Do not be afraid,” the pope told Moon according to Yonhap.
In a statement released after the meeting, the Vatican said Pope Francis and Moon discussed the Church’s role in promoting “dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans.”
“Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development,” the Vatican said.
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Picture: South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, is pictured at the conclusion of a Mass for peace for the Korean peninsula in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 17th October. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).