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US opposes Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border

US opposes Koreas’ plan for no-fly zone over border”

South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day visit to attend a multilateral forum of Asian and European leaders.

The goal of the meeting was for Moon Jae-in to deliver a special message from the North Korean leader: that Kim Jong Un would welcome the pope into his country if he visits Pyongyang.

Asked if Kim should send a formal invitation, Moon's office quoted the pope as responding to Moon: "your message is already sufficient but it would be good for him to send a formal invitation".

No pope has ever visited North Korea.

A Vatican statement made no mention of the verbal invitation from Kim.

Earlier Thursday, Moon wrapped up his three-day visit to Italy and the Vatican.

It spoke only of "the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans" and 'the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development'.

Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae expects that a papal visit could help expedite the process to bring peace to the divided peninsula, the world's last remaining vestige of the Cold War.

"Right now, on the Korean Peninsula, historic and heartwarming changes are taking place", he said.

The meeting between Moon and Pope Francis was held behind closed doors with only South Korean priest Han Hyun-taek serving as the interpreter.

"Our prayers today will turn into reality for sure", the South Korean leader said.

South Korea's foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha, told Reuters that U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo recently expressed "discontent" with the agreement between North and South Korea, which Reuters reported includes the no-fly zone and "a gradual removal of landmines and guard posts within the Demilitarised Zone".

Moon, who is Catholic, wrote that when he traveled to Pyongyang in September for the summit, he was joined by a Korean Catholic bishop to try to improve relations between the church in North and South.

Francis, however, has taken a less-absolutist approach in the Holy See's diplomacy, as evidenced by the recent deal over bishop nominations signed with China, North Korea's closest ally.

Following an unusually provocative run of weapons tests last year, Kim has been on a diplomatic offensive since the start of this year, which included the meeting with Moon and one with President Donald Trump.



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