President Moon Jae-in began his scheduled European tour with a one-on-one meeting with Pope Francis today. The President is in Europe to attend the G20 Summit in Italy and U.N. Climate Change Conference COP26 in the United Kingdom as well as to make a state visit to Hungary.
During his official visit to the Vatican this morning, President Moon had a private audience with Pope Francis and confirmed the consistent support of His Holiness for peace on the Korean Peninsula.
At the meeting held in the Apostolic Palace, President Moon said, “If Your Holiness has the opportunity and pays a visit to North Korea, it will build momentum for peace on the Korean Peninsula. Koreans have high expectations.”
Pope Francis said if he received an invitation, he would gladly visit the North for the sake of helping Koreans and the cause of peace. He went on to say that South and North Koreans are brothers who speak the same language and that he would willingly go.
In addition, President Moon and Pope Francis exchanged their views on pending global issues facing humanity, such as COVID-19 and climate change.
Following his meeting with Pope Francis, President Moon met with the Secretary of State of His Holiness, Cardinal Pietro Parolin. This afternoon, the President is scheduled to visit the exhibition “Barbed Wire, Heralds of Peace” at the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola.