SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited Pope Francis to visit Pyongyang and President Moon Jae-in will deliver the invitation when he meets the pope next week, the South Korean presidential office said Tuesday.
Kim said he will "ardently welcome the pope if he visits Pyongyang" when Moon suggested during their last summit in Pyongyang last month that he meet Francis, Kim Eui-kyeom, spokesman for Cheong Wa Dae, said during a press briefing in Seoul.
The spokesman announced during the briefing that Moon plans to visit Europe next week and that his trip will include a stop at the Vatican on Oct. 17 and 18.
He said Moon will deliver the message from the Pyongyang leader when he meets with the pope.
The Pyongyang leader casually conversed with South Korean Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong when he accompanied Moon and Kim as they climbed Mount Paektu together on Sept. 20, the last day of Moon's trip to Pyongyang.
When the archbishop said he will tell the Vatican that the two Koreas are moving toward reconciliation and peace, the Pyongyang leader bowed politely and said "Yes, please."
In Vatican City, the president will seek the pope's blessing and support for peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and discuss ways for future cooperation with the Vatican, Kim said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency