Pope Indicates Desire to Visit North Korea

During a private audience Thursday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Pope Francis reportedly indicated a willingness to visit North Korea.

Moon “conveyed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s desire for a papal visit to North Korea,” the South Korean presidential office said in a statement. A formal invitation directly from North Korea was expected to follow.

The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said of the likelihood of Francis accepting such an invite: “I would say the availability to go is there.” A trip that would be the first by a pope to officially atheist North Korea would need “serious preparation and consideration,” Parolin added.