President Moon Jae-in met with Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, at Cheong Wa Dae today. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Korea and the Holy See. Welcoming the Secretary to Korea, President Moon expressed his special respect and appreciation for Pope Francis.
President Moon mentioned how His Holiness during his last visit to Korea in 2014 offered comfort to Koreans gripped by sorrow from the tragedy of the Sewol ferry sinking. He went on to say that His Holiness’s expressions of support continued even after his return, including wishes for peace and harmony between South and North Korea.
Noting that Pope Francis had a memorable meeting with President Moon during the 2014 visit, the Vatican's top diplomat expressed his appreciation to President Moon for endeavoring to bring permanent peace to the Korean Peninsula.
Secretary Gallagher said Pope Francis would join President Moon in praying for the success of his international endeavors in the hope that the Korean President faces no interruptions or major difficulties and that his many future diplomatic efforts bear fruit. The Secretary also delivered a message that the Pope would like to meet with President Moon in Rome this coming October.