North Korea’s Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang青瓦台：金正恩想请教皇访朝，文在寅将转达邀请 时间:2018-10-11 单词数:2360
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited Pope Francis to visit the country, South Korea’s presidential office has announced.
The invitation to visit Pyongyang will be delivered by South Korean president Moon Jae-in who will be in the Vatican next week as part of a trip to Europe.
No pope has ever visited North Korea, though the late Pope John Paul II was once invited.
North Korea and the Vatican have no formal diplomatic relations.
"During the meeting with Pope Francis, [Mr Moon] will relay the message from chairman Kim Jong-un that he would ardently welcome the Pope if he visits [the North Korean capital] Pyongyang," Mr Moon’s spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, told reporters.
The invitation is the latest reconciliatory gesture from North Korea.
Mr Kim held an unprecedented summit with US President Donald Trump earlier this year and three inter-Korean summits also took place.
In 2000, Kim Jong-un’s father - Kim Jong-il - invited Pope John Paul II to visit North Korea after the pope was quoted as saying it would be "a miracle" if he could go there.
That invitation came at a summit with the then South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung. The visit never happened.
According to news wire the Associated Press, the Vatican insisted at the time that a visit from the pope would only happen if Catholic priests were accepted in North Korea.
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