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Vatican Secretary of State: ‘Pope wishes to visit N. Korea’

Vatican Secretary of State: ‘Pope wishes to visit N. Korea’

Posted July. 12, 2021 07:13,   

Updated July. 12, 2021 07:13


Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin met with South Korean National Assembly Speaker Park Byung-suk on Friday. “It is certain that the Pope wishes to visit (North Korea),” he told Park. The Vatican has hinted at the possibility for the Pope’s visit to the Stalinist country once more after National Intelligence Service chief Park Jie-won said, “We are pushing to arrange the Pope’s visit to Pyongyang.”

Secretary of State Parolin, No. 2 at the Vatican, received National Assembly Speaker Park who is visiting Italy at the Apostolic Palace on the day, where he said, “The Vatican is exerting efforts to maintain a dialogue channel with North Korea. We are waiting for an invitation from Pyongyang.” When meeting with President Moon Jae-in in October 2018, Pope Francis said, “If (North Korea) sends an invitation, I will reply without any condition, and I can visit.”

Upon hearing Secretary of State Parolin’s remarks, Speaker Park said, “If the Pope proactively takes action to bring North Korea to the international community, it will be very helpful to bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula. I hope that Secretary of State Parolin will play a significant role to support peace policy for the Korean Peninsula, which has remained divided for more than 70 years.” Secretary of State Parolin hosted a special mass for peace on the Korean Peninsula during President Moon Jae-in’s visit to the Vatican in 2018.

During Park’s meeting with Secretary of State Parolin, You Heung-sik, the bishop for the Daejeon Diocese who is the first Korean to be appointed as prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican was mentioned. “I hope that Lazarus You will make contributions to the development of the Vatican and world peace,” and Secretary of State Parolin said, “We have high expectations on You.”

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com