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Pope to Koreas: Avoid ‘fruitless’ shows of force

By The Associated Press

This article was published August 14, 2014 at 11:10 a.m.


Pope Francis touches his face during his meeting with journalists aboard the papal flight on the journey to Seoul, South Korea, while he is informed by Father Federico Lombardi that Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli, of Italy, died in Gaza, on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014.

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.


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