.- As nuclear negotiations with North Korea continue, Catholics in South Korea are encouraging devotion to their martyr saints and renewing prayers for peace on the peninsula.
South Korea’s bishops applauded the successful completion of the third inter-Korean summit of Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang, North Korea earlier this week. The meeting resulted in Kim promising to take steps towards denuclearization in exchange for concessions from the United States.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded with a statement that the U.S. is prepared to “engage immediately in negotiations” with North Korea, and invited North Korea’s foreign minister to meet with him at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City next week, where Moon will also meet with US President Donald Trump.
“This will mark the beginning of negotiations to transform U.S.-DPRK relations through the process of rapid denuclearization of North Korea, to be completed by January 2021, as committed by Chairman Kim, and to construct a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” Pompeo said Sept. 19.
Before heading to Pyongyang the First Lady of South Korea, Kim Jung-sook, attended Mass with Korean bishops in Seoul’s Myeongdong Cathedral and asked for prayers for the upcoming diplomatic negotiations.
The Mass was part of a week-long celebration of Korea’s martyr saints. On Sept. 14, the Vatican approved ‘Seoul’s Catholic Pilgrimage Routes’ as a World Pilgrimage Site.
Monsignor Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, traveled to Seoul for the pilgrimage route’s dedication ceremony.
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