Pope to Kim: Invite me

SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — Pope Francis has asked Pyongyang to invite him to North Korea, saying in a televised interview on Friday that he would not turn down a chance to visit and work for peace.

A potential papal visit to the isolated, nuclear-armed country was previously floated in 2018 when Seoul’s former president Moon Jae-in embarked on a round of diplomacy with Pyongyang’s leader Kim Jong Un.

Moon, who is Catholic, said during a summit that Kim told him the pontiff would be “enthusiastically” welcomed.

Pope Francis replied at the time that he would be willing to go if he received an official invitation.

But Pyongyang has largely cut off contact with Seoul following the collapse of a second summit between Kim and then-United States president Donald Trump in 2019, which has left talks at a standstill.

“When they invite me — that is to say, please invite me — I won’t say no,” Pope Francis told South Korea’s state broadcaster KBS in an interview that aired Friday.
“The goal is simply fraternity,” he added.

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