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South Korean president seeks Pope's support in reconciliation efforts


North and South Korea flags. Photo credit: cigdem Shutterstock CNA

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Vatican City, May 31, 2017 CNA/EWTN News.- On the eve of President Trump’s visit to the Holy See, the newly elected president of South Korea sent a special envoy to ask for Vatican support in efforts to foster reconciliation in the Korean peninsula.

Bishop Hyginus Kim Hee-jong, archbishop of Gwangju and president of the Korean Bishops Conference, served as South Korean president Moon Jae-in’s special envoy for a one-week mission.

He was able to meet with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, on May 23, and to talk briefly with Pope Francis at the end of morning Mass in Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 26.

“I was sent by the president to ask the Holy Father for his support in the reconciliation process between North and South Korea, and I hope the Vatican can act as a mediator,” he told CNA.

He added that the mediation “could be the same as the mediation made during the restoration of relations between Cuba and the Unites States.”

Bishop Kim said that one of the main goals of the mission is to ask the Holy See to facilitate the opening of relations between North Korea and the United States, which “would help Korea in the path toward reconciliation” with the South, as at the moment “North Korea has not the trust of Western countries.”

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