South Korean president to meet Pope Francis after North Korean invitation

South Korean president to meet Pope Francis after North Korean invitation

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with Pope Francis today as part of his week-long tour of Europe. In

pope francis north korea

Photo: Andrew Medichini/AP

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will meet with Pope Francis today as part of his week-long tour of Europe. In their meeting, Mr Moon will extend North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s invitation to the pope to visit.

Nuclear negotiations have largely reached an impasse, where neither North Korea nor the United States are willing to make certain concessions. While Pyongyang would like to see sanctions lifted and the Korean War formally ended, Washington has yet to see a substantial commitment to denuclearisation.

Kim’s invitation to the pope is likely an attempt to ease the public’s harsh perceptions of North Korea in the West. A visit would further signify the hermit nation’s reintegration with the international community, as well as demonstrate the growing call for peace on the peninsula. Indeed, such a statement by someone as influential as the pope could put pressure on President Trump to resolve negotiations and the Korean War quickly.

Expect Pope Francis, who has long expressed a desire for Korean peace, to strongly consider this invitation. Accepting could rejuvenate a stalled process and lead to further involvement of the Vatican in negotiations, potentially as a mediator.

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