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Date : November 3, 2021
Pope must be careful with NK poisoned chalice
   https://www.ucanews.com/news/pope-must-be-careful-with-north-korean-po… [364]

Pope must be careful with North Korean poisoned chalice

by Benedict Rogers

When South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in met Pope Francis in Rome last Friday, he handed him not only a cross made with barbed wire from a fence in the Korean Peninsula’s demilitarized zone but a poisoned chalice. He issued an appeal to the pope to visit North Korea “when the opportunity arises,” describing such an occasion as providing the “momentum for peace.”

Most papal visits are relatively uncontroversial, and even in the most difficult of situations are usually timed at moments when progress already underway could be encouraged and advanced. Pope Francis’ visits to Myanmar and Iraq, for example, took place when both places were under positive — if fragile — transitions to liberalization.

A visit to North Korea has been in the rumor mill for a while. My message to the Vatican, for what it’s worth, is to be cautious. I would not say do not ever go to Pyongyang — after all, I myself have visited, together with one of Britain’s leading Catholic parliamentarians and human rights champions, Lord Alton of Liverpool, and another doughty defender of human rights, Baroness Cox, a decade ago. ......

[Source: UCA News]

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