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Kim Jong Un to Pope: Come Visit Me in North Korea

A visit is considered 'highly unlikely,' though S. Korea's Moon Jae-in will still deliver the invite
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2018 10:20 AM CDT
Pope Francis blesses the crowd as he recites a prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

(Newser) – Moon Jae-in will visit the Vatican next week, and the South Korean leader will go bearing a special invite for Pope Francis. The New York Times reports Moon will serve as the messenger for Kim Jong Un, who's requesting that the pontiff pay him a visit in North Korea. "If the pope visits Pyongyang, we will give him a rousing welcome," Kim told Moon when the latter met with him in Pyongyang in September, per Moon's spokesman. Although the Times considers an RSVP of "yes" as "highly unlikely"—no pope has ever visited North Korea—Moon, a Roman Catholic, is said to desire the get-together as a chance to recruit the pope to help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula. The Times notes that North Korea was ranked No. 1 on a list of the worst nations for Christians by the Christian group Open Doors. (Read more Kim Jong Un stories.)

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