Francis and Moon Jae-in continue speaking about bettering situation with North Korea.
Pope Francis on Friday received in audience the President of the Republic of Korea, Mr. Moon Jae-in, at the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
As in 2018, Moon Jae-in presented an invitation orally to the Pope, to visit North Korea, Korean news agency Yonhap said after the meeting. The head of the Catholic Church once again expressed his availability to go there, but also reiterated his only requirement: to receive an official invitation from the People’s Republic of Korea and its supreme leader Kim Jung-un.
The South Korean President subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, accompanied by Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.
A statement by the Holy See Press Office notes that during the cordial discussions, “appreciation was shown for the good bilateral relations between the States and for the positive contribution the Catholic Church offers to society, evoking particular diligence in the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans.”
In this regard, hopes were further shared that joint effort and good will may favour peace and development in the Korean peninsula, supported by solidarity and fraternity.
The discussions then allowed an exchange of views on some themes regarding current regional affairs and humanitarian issues.
During the meeting, Pope Francis and Moon Jae-in exchanged gifts, with the Holy Father presenting him with a bronze medal depicting Bernini’s original design for St. Peter’s Square, volumes of papal documents, a copy of the Message for World Peace Day 2021, the Document on Human Fraternity signed in Abu Dhabi, and the book on the Statio Orbis of March 27, 2020, published by the Vatican Publishing House.
President Moon Jae-in reciprocated the Pope’s gesture, presenting him with a cross made of barbed wire from the demilitarized zone on the border with North Korea.
The South Korean president is in Rome for the G20 Summit to be held on 30 – 21 October, the first stop on the way to the UN COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.