SEOUL, South Korea — Pope Francis called Thursday for peace and unity on the war-divided Korean Peninsula and for both sides to avoid “fruitless” criticisms and shows of force, offering a message of reconciliation at the start of a five-day visit to South Korea that received a stark response from the North.
North Korea fired three short-range projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast about an hour before Francis landed in Seoul, and two others a short while later.
In the first speech of his first trip to Asia, Francis told South Korean President Park Geun-hye, government officials and regional diplomats that peace required justice — and that justice in turn requires forgiveness, cooperation and mutual respect. He said diplomacy must be encouraged so that listening and dialogue replace "mutual recriminations, fruitless criticisms and displays of force."
Read Friday’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.