South Korean cardinal makes historic visit to North KoreaUpdated: 2014-05-21 16:07:37 KST
A Roman Catholic cardinal from South Korea traveled to North Korea on this Wednesday in the first such trip at a time of rekindled animosity between the neighboring countries.
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung just returned from the Kaesong Industrial Complex less than an hour ago
For more, let's go live to our correspondent Hwang Sung-hee at the Inter-Korean Transit Office.
Sung-hee, what can you tell us?
Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung just held a press briefing here after his return from the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
Upon news of his trip, many were scratching their heads as to what had prompted the visit.
Cardinal Yeom said, for him, the visit was an opportunity to realize how close Seoul and Kaesong were located -- only 60 kilometers apart -- but how distant they feel.
He said by seeing the North and the South work together at the joint business park, he saw hope in the two Koreas.
The cardinal did not hold mass today at the complex but prayed for the reconciliation of the two Koreas.
The trip comes amid escalating tensions on the peninsula, but the cardinal's delegation said they had no contact with North Korean officials today.
The cardinal's trip comes three months before Pope Francis will travel to South Korea for a visit and this is fueling speculation that the Holy Father could also make a stop in the North. How likely a possibility is that?
Pope Francis is scheduled to come to Seoul in August and expectations are high as to whether he will become the first pope to visit North Korea.
Pope Francis has shown a great deal of interest in peace and reconciliation between the two Koreas and he is expected to deliver a message for the entire Korean peninsula upon his visit this summer.
But for now, the South Korean Catholic church said the Pope has no plans to travel to the North.
In fact, it made clear that the cardinal's trip today was arranged upon a request made by South Korean Catholics at the complex last August.
But the rare trip could be a first step in bringing the two Koreas together.
This has been Hwang Sung-hee reporting live from the Inter-Korean Transit Office in Paju.
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