Pope Francis ready to respond to invitation to visit North Korea
Kim Jong Un is expected to issue a formal invite after South Korea’s president discussed the meeting during a visit to the Vatican.
South Korea’s president has met with Pope Francis in a private audience, and his office says that the pontiff indicated his willingness to visit North Korea.
The South Korean presidential office said in a statement that President Moon Jae-in “conveyed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s desire for a papal visit to North Korea”.
A formal invitation directly from North Korea will follow.
The office said Francis said that “if the invitation comes, I will surely respond to it, and I can possibly go”.
Mr Kim initially indicated his desire for a papal visit during a Korean summit last month.
If it materialises, such a visit would be the first by a pope to North Korea.