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SAT, 2014-11-22  KST

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Pope Francis arrives in Korea, to meet with President Park Thursday
Updated: 2014-08-14 14:30:53 KST

Let's begin with the historic papal visit to Korea.
Pope Francis has started his five-day trip -- his first trip to Asia as a pontiff and the first papal visit to Korea in 25 years. (The last one coming in 1989 by Pope John Paul the Second)
A welcoming ceremony at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae is believed to have just started.
So let's go over to our presidential office correspondent Choi You-sun for more.
You-sun?

Hyun-kyung.
Pope Francis arrived through the Seoul military air base at a quarter past 10 a.m. this morning and after a private Mass at the Vatican embassy in Seoul, he's now scheduled to make a courtesy call to President Park.
One thing to keep an eye on today, is what the president and the pope discuss and the message they will convey following their talks, especially in regards to inter-Korean relations and historical differences that have caused tensions in Northeast Asia.
President Park, who greeted the pontiff at the airport said she hoped that Koreans would be warmly consoled by his visit and that it would start an era of peace and reconciliation on the divided Korean peninsula.
The pope, in response, said he carried peace in his heart on his way here.
Thirty-two Catholics were invited to greet the pope, including the families of the victims of April's deadly ferry disaster, to whom he said he shared in their heartache and thinks of the victims.

We've been hearing about his schedule. Tell us more about what's scheduled ahead.


On the papal itinerary for the rest of the week are: officiating a Mass to celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Friday in central Daejeon, beatifying 1-hundred-24 Korean martyrs in downtown Seoul Saturday, officiating two other Masses, one on Sunday at the closing of the sixth Asian Youth Day and another on Monday on peace and reconciliation at the Myeong-dong Cathedral in Seoul.
Pope Francis, who had specifically prayed for peace on the divided Korean peninsula during his first Easter mass last year, is expected to deliver some sort of a message on easing tensions between the two Koreas during Monday's Mass.
Seoul, earlier this week, proposed inter-Korean talks to seek improving ties, but we learned earlier today that Pyongyang fired five short-range rockets into the East Sea.
It's also speculated he'll meet with Korean victims of Japan's wartime sex slavery during his trip.
With President Park due to speak on Friday to mark Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule, it will be interesting to see what message the president makes concerning Japan's repeated denials of past atrocities and ways to improve bilateral ties.
This was Choi You-sun reporting on Pope Francis' visit to Korea and I'll be back with more details on our next newscast.

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