Moon to visit European countries, Kim Jong-un invites Pope Francis to Pyongyang

Oct 10, 2018, 09:26 am

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President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un pose for photographs on the top of Mount. Paektu, North Korea, Sept. 20./ Source: Joint Press Corps

By AsiaToday reporters Joo Sung-sik & Heo Go-woon

President Moon Jae-in will embark on a 9-day trip to Europe this Saturday, including stops in France, Italy, Vatican, Belgium, and Demark.

"President Moon will be visiting France and Italy from the 13th to the 18th to discuss ways to further develop friendly relations," Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

Moon is expected to focus on promoting diplomatic and security cooperation with France, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, while seeking cooperation with science, technology and new industry fields with Italy. 

From Oct. 17-18, Moon will visit the Vatican to seek Pope Francis' blessing and support for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and discuss ways for future cooperation with the Vatican. The president will also deliver North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's invitation for the pope to visit Pyongyang.

Moon suggested the North Korean leader meet Francis during their summit last month, saying that the pope is interested in peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula. "Chairman Kim said he will enthusiastically welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang," the spokesman said. 

On Sept. 20, the last day of Moon's trip to North Korea, the North Korean leader met with South Korean Archbishop Hyginus Kim hee-joong as they climbed Mount Paektu together. According to the spokesman, when the archbishop said he will tell the pope that the two Koreas are moving toward reconciliation and peace, the North Korean leader bowed politely and said, "Yes, please."

President Moon will attend the ASEM summit in Brussels and hold a summit with European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to discuss ways to further deepen their strategic partnership as the two sides mark the 55th year of diplomatic ties this year.

#Moon Jae-in #Pope Francis #Kim Jong-un #invitation #Europe 
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