South Korean President Moon Jae-in headed to Italy on Tuesday after his four-day visit to France as part of his Europe tour seeking to expand bilateral relations and rally support for peace efforts with North Korea.

He arrived in Paris on Saturday in his first visit as president and held a summit with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Monday.

"France is an old friend of South Korea. I am pleased to have made a state visit to France as the first stop on my Europe tour," Moon said in a joint press conference after the summit.

He will later visit the Vatican and then attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Belgium. His nine-day trip will end in Denmark, where he will attend the inaugural summit of Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030, or P4G.

In Paris, Moon called for support for the peaceful denuclearization of North Korea, which he says may require timely rewards for giving up nuclear weapons.

"As North Korea stands before the world after voluntarily coming out of its isolation, now it is the international community's turn to answer North Korea's tough decision and efforts," Moon has said.

In Rome, Moon will hold a summit with Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and meet President Sergio Mattarella.

In the Vatican, Moon plans to deliver a personal invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for Pope Francis to visit Pyongyang.

Moon will also attend a special mass for peace on the Korean Peninsula to be presided by Cardinal Pietro Parolin on Wednesday. Parolin serves as the secretary of state of the Holy See.

He will head to Brussels on Thursday for the biennial ASEM summit.

Source: Yonhap News Agency