The President of South Korea, Moon Jae-in, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican. This is how their meeting began.
It’s the second time President Moon Jae-in and the Pope meet. They exchanged ideas about the world’s humanitarian crises, the climate crisis and reconciliation with North Korea.
The affection and camaraderie between the two leaders was palpable throughout the meeting. The South Korean leader gave the Pope a very special gift. It was a cross made with barbed wire taken from the Korean peninsula’s demilitarized zone.
“We took this barbed wire to shape it into a cross.”
It’s one of 136 crosses made from the barbed wire that has separated the two Koreas for the past 68 years. It’s a reminder of the drama of war on this peninsula, and which the president accompanied with a short prayer. It was an informal invitation to the Pope to travel to North Korea.
Pope Francis, in turn, gave the president this year’s message for peace. He said an affectionate goodbye to the president and his wife, Kim Jung-sook.
“May God bless you.”