Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong (right) explains the results of his work as special envoy to Vatican at the VIP room at Incheon International Airport after returning from Rome on May 27. (Photo by The Catholic Times of Korea)
Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong, presidential special envoy to the Vatican, met Pope Francis and high Vatican officials to garner support to peacefully solve the conflicts surrounding North Korea's nuclear weapon and missile development.
Archbishop Kim visited the Vatican and met Pope Francis and Cardinal Pietro Parolin, secretary of state for the Vatican and concelebrated Mass at Casa Martha, the pope's residence. He also asked the pope to pray for improvement in inter-Korea relations.
Archbishop Kim said, "I informed Pope Francis of the election of the new president of Korea and asked him to cooperate and support President Moon's duty to keep peace in the peninsula. I asked him to pray for Korea and he replied 'yes.'"
"The pope understands the situation in the Korean peninsula and stressed that conflicts should be solved through dialogue and compromise," he added.
While meeting the pope on May 24 in St. Peter's Square, Archbishop Kim conveyed a letter from President Moon Jae-in. In the letter, the president showed his gratitude to Pope Francis for his visit to Korea in 2014 when he consoled the bereaved families of the Sewol ferry disaster.
Archbishop Kim said, "President Moon sent me to Vatican to get support from the pope now that peace in the Korean peninsula is threatened. I expect the Vatican will support us spiritually and diplomatically."