10/15/2018, 16.27
KOREA – VATICAN
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Pope Francis might visit North Korea next spring

Lee Hae-chan, chairman of South Korea’s Democratic Party, is quoted saying that a visit might be possible. It would the first by a pope to North Korea. South Korea’s Catholic Church is in favour of the initiative but also call for an improvement in freedom of religion in the North.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis could visit North Korea next spring, after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ardently invited him to Pyongyang, said Lee Hae-chan, chairman of South Korea’s Democratic Party without citing the source

"I heard that there is talk that Pope Francis wants to visit North Korea next spring," Lee said at a meeting with senior party officials.

Lee stressed how important it would be for President Moon Jae-in – also of the Democratic Party – to deliver Kim's invitation to Pope Francis next Thursday when he is in the Vatican on a visit.

If the Pope did visit North Korea, it would be a first. For South Korea’s Catholic Church, it would another step towards reconciliation and peace in the Korean peninsula.

At the same time, Church leaders said that in case of a visit, they hope to see some improvement in the status of religious freedom in North Korea.

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