An invitation from the closed state’s leader, Kim Jong-un, was relayed to the pope by South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, who is Catholic, during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. The South Korean presidential office said Moon had “conveyed [Kim’s] desire for a papal visit to North Korea”, with a formal invitation directly from Pyongyang to follow.
“If the pope visits Pyongyang, we will give him a rousing welcome,” Mr. Kim told Mr. Moon, according to Mr. Moon’s spokesman.
Pope Francis will seriously consider making an unprecedented visit to North Korea, but some conditions would have to be met, a senior Vatican official has said.
“The North Korean government’s approach toward religion and belief is among the most hostile and repressive in the world,” the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom