South Korea’s Cardinal will go with Pope to North Korea

South Korea’s Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung says he would greatly welcome a visit from Pope Francis to North Korea and would be willing to accompany him during his trip.

Yeom, who is the archbishop of Seoul, also serves as the acting chief of North Korea’s Pyongyang Diocese.

According to Lee Hae-chan, the chief of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), Yeom made the comment during a meeting where they were discussing the pope’s tacit agreement to visit North Korea someday.

They say Francis effectively accepted an unofficial invitation to visit North Korea last month when South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in relayed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s verbal invitation.

Speaking on Francis’s behalf, Cardinal Pietro Parolin said last month a visit to North Korea would require serious preparation and consideration.

Parolin, who is the Vatican Secretary of State, added that a papal visit could also “give support to the process of peace and denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.”

Cheong Wa Dae from Seoul’s presidential office says he expects a papal visit could help expedite the process to bring peace to the Korean peninsula, which is the world’s last remaining vestige of the Cold War.

If he were to visit Pyongyang, Francis would be the first pope to visit North Korea.


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