Singaporean charged with supplying prohibited luxury items to North Korea

Singaporean charged with supplying prohibited luxury items to North Korea

Officials from North and South Korea and the United Nations have begun talks to turn a border village into an unarmed neutral enclave where military guards and tourists from both sides would move freely across the demarcation line.

The pope has visited South Korea, but no pontiff has ever been to North Korea, which has very few practicing Christians.

The Vatican's priests were expelled by North Korea long ago and state-appointed laymen officiate services.

Francis, however, has taken a less-absolutist approach in the Holy See's diplomacy, as evidenced by a recent deal over bishop nominations signed with China, North Korea's closest ally. The North is estimated to have around 2,500 Catholics, compared to more than 5.5 million in South Korea. I bear that mind every time I encounter difficulties.

Moon also had an important role in setting up a June meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump that took place in Singapore, where they announced aspirational goals for a nuclear-free peninsula without describing how and when it would occur.

Pope Francis has been emphatic about the right and wrong ways to address global conflict.

"Prayers offered for peace on the Korean Peninsula will resound as echoes of hope in the hearts of the people of the Koreas as well as those around the world who desire peace".

In a statement, the Vatican said: "Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development". Moon is using his nine-day trip to European capitals to try and build a consensus to keep the momentum for the denuclearization process alive, Cheong Wa Dae officials told The Korea Times.

Moon's seeking a papal endorsement of the continued efforts to achieve peace on the peninsula.

A day before the meeting, President Moon delivered a speech at a "Mass for Peace" in St. Peter's Basilica that was presided over by the pope's top diplomat, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

The police said three companies linked to the 58-year-old have also been charged in court for supplying prohibited luxury items to North Korea. Our prayers today will surely become a reality.

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