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Pope to Koreas: Avoid ‘fruitless’ shows of force

Pope to Koreas: Avoid ‘fruitless’ shows of force
In a speech to President Park Geun-Hye in Seoul, Francis said the quest for inter-Korean reconciliation was one that had implications for ‘the stability of the entire area and indeed of the whole war-weary world’.

Acknowledging the relentless challenge of breaking down walls of ‘distrust and hatred’, Francis voiced his appreciation of peaceful efforts to bring stability to the Korean peninsula.

‘Diplomacy... is based on the firm and persevering conviction that peace can be won through quiet listening and dialogue, rather than by mutual recriminations, fruitless criticisms and displays of force,’ he said.

During his speech, Francis only referred to ‘Korea’ or the ‘Korean peninsula’ avoiding any specific mention of either the North or South, which have remained divided since the 1950-53 Korea War.

Minutes before the pope touched down at the start of his five-day visit, North Korea fired three short-range rockets into the East Sea (Sea of Japan, followed by two more later in the day. ‘It is quite unseemly to fire such weapons on the day of the arrival of the pope, who comes here to give his blessing to all the people in the Korean peninsula, whether in the South or the North,’ said a foreign ministry spokesman in Seoul.
Agencies

Agencies

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