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Sunday 18 November 2018

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 Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook, right, meet Pope Francis (Alessandro Di Meo/AP)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook, right, meet Pope Francis (Alessandro Di Meo/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

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.

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An olive twig as a symbol for peace was Pope Francis’ gift to South Korean President Moon Jae-in (Alessandro Di Meo/AP)

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.

Press Association

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