Pope Francis urges two Koreas to be patient with each otherUpdated: 2014-08-14 21:58:42 (KST)
On the first day of his much-publicized visit to South Korea, Pope Francis called on the two Koreas to put down their display of force and be patient in trying to forgive and understand each other.
"Peace is not simply the absence of war, but 'the work of justice.' And justice, as a virtue, calls for the discipline of forbearance."
The pontiff, who has publicly prayed for peace and reconciliation on the divided Korean peninsula, added justice demands a will for mutually-beneficial goals and building foundations of mutual respect.
Recognizing efforts for stability in the South, Pope Francis said such efforts were close to his heart as they affect the stability of the entire world.
President Park, who back in March proposed increasing humanitarian aid to the North and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides to better prepare for reunification, said Pyongyang, for its part, should lay down its nuclear arms.
"For Koreans on both sides to escape war and nuclear threats, enjoy happiness, and to reunite for world peace and prosperity, North Korea must first stop its nuclear weapons development, that can take away so many lives at once."
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She then asked the pope to continue praying for those in conflict to forgive, those divided to unite, and for Koreans to work towards a unified Korea.
Pope Francis, who is dedicated to the society's marginalized and those in suffering, said not meeting their immediate needs, but assisting with their human and cultural advancement, should be the main goal.
"With peace and reconciliation high on the minds of Koreans during the pope's visit, it will be interesting to see what message President Park has for North Korea and Japan Friday, which marks the peninsula's liberation from Japan's colonial rule.
Choi You-sun, Arirang News."
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