North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has invited Pope Francis to visit the isolated country which has no permanent priest.
Last month when South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Pyongyang, Kim with him his wish to meet Pope. He also urged him to let the Vatican know his intention to build peace in the region. The spokesman of South Korean’s president Kim Eui-kyeom revealed.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in will have a meeting with the Pope when he will visit the Vatican on October 17 and 18.
Moon’s spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told reporters that during the meeting with Pope Francis, Moon will give the message of Kim Jong Un to the Pope.
However, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke refused to comment on the visit of Pope to Pyongyang asking the reporters to wait for the invitation to arrive.
Moon is going on a nine-day tour of Europe from October 13 to 21. During this trip, he will visit France, Italy and Denmark as well as the Vatican.
The doveish Moon, who will attend a “peace Mass” for the Korean peninsula in Saint Peter’s on October 17, has pushed rapprochement with Kim, meeting him three times in the last year.
Kim has made a series of reconciliatory gestures this year, including a landmark summit with US President Donald Trump in June.
North Korea’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion to its individuals as long as it does not affect the matters of state but in reality, no open religious activity is allowed in North Korea.
North Korea had a Catholic community of about 55,000 just before the 1950-53 Korean War. The country does not allow have a permanent residence in its territories.
Priests from South Korea occasionally visit North Korea but that normally happens with aid deliveries or humanitarian projects.
This is the first time a North Korean leader has sent an invitation to pope since Mr Kim’s father, Kim Jong-il, invited Pope John Paul II in 2000 which never happened.