domenica 31 ottobre 2021

Corea del Sud
Archbishop You Heung-sik Lazzaro says efforts made to foster conditions for papal visit to N. Korea

(Arirang News)
President Moon Jae-in is in Europe for a series of high-level meetings. On Saturday, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, he spoke briefly with U.S. President Joe Biden, telling him about his talks the day before with Pope Francis where he proposed a papal visit to North Korea as part of efforts to bring peace to the Korean Peninula. Biden called it welcome news. Our Blue House correspondent Kim Min-ji who is travelling with the President files this report from Rome.Archbishop You Heung-sik Lazzaro who leads the Vatican office responsible for priests says efforts are made at the Vatican to foster conditions for a papal visit to North Korea.
He met with the Blue House press corps travelling with the president on his Europe visit at the Vatican on Saturday.
A day earlier, President Moon Jae-in met with Pope Francis where he said that a papal visit to Pyeongyang would bring momentum for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
In response, the pontiff said he would be willing to visit, if North Korea sends an invitation.
"[The Pope's] remarks should be digested just as it is. I'm not in a position to elaborate as it could be understood as the Pope's thoughts. But as with the [South Korean] government, the Vatican also makes efforts to foster conditions for the Pope to visit North Korea through various channels."
The Archbishop added that it depends on the response from North Korea, though.
He stressed that like in international relations, it's important to acknowledge and respect the other side in a 'give and take' setting,... saying that the Vatican could play such a role, if asked to.
He noted there are contacts with the North, such as through the 'Community of St. Egidio' a Catholic association dedicated to social service,... although he's never had direct encounter.
You also said he prays for... not only Pope Francis and President Moon, but also U.S. President Joe Biden and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
President Moon on Saturday, speaking with U.S. President Joe Biden, relayed the pontiff's willingness to go.
The two presidents had a brief, casual conversation before posing for a group photo with other G20 leaders.
The Blue House said that Biden called it "welcome news."
He was also quoted as saying that Moon is achieving progress in regards to Korean Peninsula affairs.
President Moon has sought to use his Europe tour to drum up support for his peace initiative with no significant progress since the breakdown of the second North Korea-U.S. summit in 2019.
He has made multiple overtures to the North, but Pyeongyang has been unresponsive.
Recently, Moon has been seeking to declare an end to the 1950-to-53 Korean War,... that ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty as part of efforts to bring North Korea back to the negotiating table.
But there have been concerns that the U.S. might not be on quite the same page.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recently said that the U.S. may have "different perspectives on the precise sequence or timing of conditions for different steps."
Thus, keen attention was on a potential encounter between Presidents Moon and Biden at the G20 summit.
The clock is ticking for Moon who has less than six months left in office.
"Following Biden's positive remarks closely watched will be whether Seoul and Washington can advance negotiations for an end-of-war declaration and salvage diplomacy with North Korea.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News. Rome."