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Seoul cardinal wants to go North

Nov 07,2018
The archbishop of Seoul said Tuesday that he welcomes Pope Francis’ possible visit to North Korea and is willing to accompany him on the rare travel.

Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung made the comment, according to Lee Hae-chan, the chief of the ruling Democratic Party (DP), during their meeting. The pope has expressed his wish to visit North Korea someday.

“I strongly welcome the pope’s potential visit to Pyongyang,” said the archbishop of Seoul, who also serves as the acting chief of the Pyongyang Diocese.

“[If the pope visits North Korea], I will accompany him,” he added.

Pope Francis effectively accepted an invitation to visit North Korea last month when President Moon Jae-in relayed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s verbal invitation. The pope said if the North sends an official invitation, he will “certainly” respond to it.

No pope has ever visited North Korea.

Seoul’s presidential office expects that a papal visit could help expedite the process to bring peace to the divided peninsula.