The South Korean president’s office said that when the president meets Pope Francis on 18 October, he will pass on an invitation for the Pope to visit North Korea.
The Vatican confirmed on 9 October that South Korean President Moon Jae-in would meet the Pope on 18 October at the Vatican.
The evening before the meeting, Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Pietro Parolin will celebrate a Mass for peace on the Korean peninsula in St Peter’s Basilica, and Mr Moon will attend.
Mr Moon’s office told reporters that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, said his country would offer a “fervent welcome” to Pope Francis if he accepted an invitation to visit.
Quoting Mr Moon’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, the Korean Times reported: “President Moon suggested that Chairman Kim meet the Pope, pointing out that he is very much interested in peace on the Korean Peninsula.”
The North Korean leader “promised Mr Moon he would give a fervent welcome to the Pope if he visited Pyongyang,” the North Korean capital.